Wild Card Monday: The Falcons Win the Jerry Jones Award

Atlanta paid a Jerry Jones ransom
for Julio Jones

… for this round for the post-season.

We chided Jerry last week for overlooking the age and weaknesses on his 2010 team.  He convinced himself that his 11-5 ’09 team had at least one more playoff run in its blood and went for big splash draft picks in 2011 instead of numbers.  His plan back-fired.

Yesterday, we saw the co-winner of the 2011 Jerry Jones Award for over-valuing your own squad.  The Eagles won the regular season version and the Falcons, in their 24-2 breakdown, took the post-season honor.

The Falcons took a big step forward last year, but were throttled by the champion Packers in the divisional round.  Atlanta’s brass convinced themselves they were only a player short and went all-in for receiver Julio Jones.  They flipped last year’s 1st, 2nd and 4th rounders for the Alabama flyer.  Jones had a solid season, but yesterday, his offensive line and his team’s secondary looked anemic.  Might those marquee picks have been better spent filling in the remaining holes on the team?

The Falcons will hear that question a lot, because they also owe this year’s 1st and 4th round picks to the Browns to complete the Jones deal.

Look at these disappointed teams and remind yourself, Mr. Jones — your Cowboys started down their championship roads by selling Herschel Walker, not by buying him.

Stay the course, Jerry.

Rafael Vela
Started covering Dallas Cowboys @ TheBoys.com in '95 and '96. Two more stops along the way and here I am. Senior Analyst for SportsTalkLine.com
Rafael Vela

23 Replies to “Wild Card Monday: The Falcons Win the Jerry Jones Award”

  1. Hopefully Atlanta is paying for that mistake for a long time. I think most folks that have any clue about football were shocked when Atlanta made that trade, but hey….at least it wasn’t us this time.

    I still think we have to go all in on defense during this draft and resist jumping on the shiny object everyone seems to want (Decastro). While it would be great to have 2 OL locked in for the next decade….we could have the best line in the league but if our defense can’t stop the other team it won’t matter. Our line would have been adequate this year had our defense not given away at least 2 possibly 3 or 4 games. I’m betting an offseason in the strength and conditioning program and possibly an  upgrade at OL coach could do our line a world of good. Can’t fix both sides of the ball in the same year so we better go with the one that struggled the most.

    1. I think you are into something here and I agree. I believe the team has other plans for the recently drafted OLs and the UDFAs, and as you’ve mentioned, a complete off-season may make a difference.
      Invest on the defense instead, this is the unit that needs more personal changes.

    2. We have to fix both lines. Period. DeCastro is far from a “shiny object” – he’s the best OG prospect in several years, and is likely the only sure thing (aside from Luck) in the draft. He immediately makes this team better and more likely to beat our NFC East rivals, all of whom have stocked up at DL.

      1. I just don’t believe that adding DeCastro will mean we beat our NFC East rivals. Say we add him and we mostly solidify our line. We still have to hope that Doug Free plays better on the right, and we have to hope that either Holland or Dockery are able to play reasonable well otherwise the line will still not be rock solid. And let’s say that we do get the O-line performing like the line from the Cowboys of the ’90’s…..so what if we can’t stop even mediocre teams from scoring on us?

        1. Your point about hoping Free and Holland can play stands whether DeCastro is selected or not.  He’s a sure thing.
          Why would you select a less excellent football player on purpose?
          And to your point about the Eagles and Giants scoring, with DeCastro, the Cowboys’ running game should improve and so do their chances of winning shoot outs.

          1. Also, the Cowboys chances of being able to sustain drives, either as a result of being able to protect Romo better, or being able to run the ball better, go up. Sustaining more drives on offense keeps our D off the field longer. Keeping our D off the field longer keeps them fresher and gives them less chances to “lose” the game for us. That alone will make a bad D a little bit better.

        2. What does New England, New Orleans and Green Bay – three of the favorites to win the Super Bowl this year – have in common? Elite offenses complimented by terrible defenses.

          Only 8 teams gave up more yards/game than the Saints. And the ONLY team that gave up more yards/game than the Pats was the reigning world champs. In other words, the Pats and the Pack were THE two worst defenses in the NFL in terms of yards given up per game.

          1. Im torn on that  Raf, I like to think that one of the youngsters can step up, like Nagy , and we could draft DeCastro. Either way, fixing that line is necessary so Romo can have the time to pick Ds apart . I would be ecstatic to have Konz there as well .

          2. I’ve always been partial to defense, but we’re 2 years (at best) from a dominating defense. 

            But we are within reach of having a COMPLETE OFFENSE, if we can field quality players at C and both Gs. At pick #14, we might get an elite G (rated 2nd only to Luck) or a C (rated 4th overall.)!  

            We’ll hope that Nagy, Arkin, and Kowalsky can step up.  But either DeCastro or Konz would give us an instant, near-elite   starter in our only weak area on offense.  

    1. I think that will depend on how highly the Cowboys rate guys like Courtney Upshaw and Peter Konz, and on whether a player like Dre Kirkpatrick slips.  

      You never know who’s going to be on the clock for you until you’re there.  

    2. That is my biggest fear – CowboysNation’s fans’ objects of desire gone by 14 and Justin Blackmon sitting there (and is the highest rated player left on the Cowboys board).

      Please God, don’t let this happen !!

      Guarantee that the whole football world will wonder if JJ and Al Davis underwent a Face Off (Nicolas Cage and John Travolta) and the real Al Davis is in Dallas

    3. Or, more to the point… what if a team drops back in the draft to the 12 or 13 slot.  That’s a clear indication of their desire to gather DeCastro and value.  Does Jerry have our authority to trade up?

  2.  Falcons may be Cowboys East – competent/good-to-great players at skill positions, but suspect OL and D.  Ryan has been under pressure all year long – an OL that was great last year was being pushed around this year.  And they thought they needed one more pressure player and got Edwards – he wasn’t able to be the difference maker.
    I actually like both NFC road teams and home AFC teams this upcoming weekend.  I think GB’s OL is under some stress now with injuries and if the Giants Front 4 can pressure Rodgers then anything is possible.  On the flip side, now is time for Dom Capers to whip up some magic and get Eli on the ground – if you don’t he will carve your suspect D.
     Talking of the Falcons trade – I think Cleveland (if they are interested) would be a much better trade partner for Rams – Rams’ won’t drop too far down that they won’t be able to take Blackmon or one of the CBs and by getting Cleveland’s other first round pick this year, they can shore up their OL as well.

  3. I was amazed by Ryan’s inability to get the ball downfield against one of the worst defenses against the pass in the league. Tony Romo with a Stayed Puffed marshmallow hand threw for 2 TD’s against them the 2nd time out, and 6 TD’s total this season. Ryan had White, Jones, and Gonzalez to throw to and the Giants seemed like they had them blanketed. Plus, the Giants newfound ability to shut down the run totally hamstrung the Falcons. I haven’t rooted for the Packers all year except when they played the Giants earlier this year but I guess I’ll have to once again. 

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