Mac Engel: Dallas Cowboys 'panic' draft class an indictment on Jaylon Smith, Vander Esch

Mac Engel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Football

By October, Micah Parsons will be the best Dallas Cowboys linebacker and the second best defensive player on the team.

The risks and fears that came with drafting Randy Gregory, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have been realized.

As a result, the Cowboys put together a panic-stricken draft that looks like defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was a member of the “Fantastic Four” as he reached for whatever position he wanted.

This is not a draft run by Pro Football Hall of Famer GM Jerry Jones or head coach Mike McCarthy. It was run by the new DC.

When the Cowboys have a head coach who has a plan and conviction, they draft accordingly. They did it with Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells and Jason Garrett.

The drafts under those three ranged from “Hall of Fame” to OK.


The two drafts under Mike McCarthy have an eerie look of the classes under Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo and Wade Phillips. Those drafts had a little more of a Jerry feel, and the results were sometimes horrific.

Quinn has been an NFL head coach before, and he knows how to influence a room. This class has the look of a defensive coordinator who heavily manipulated his GM and new head coach, who are desperate to fix a historically bad defense.

The way-too-early talk about the eight defensive players this team selected in the draft range from “a player” to “immature” and a “weed guy.” The rest are “JAGs” (just a guy).

As the 12th pick in the draft, Micah Parsons better be good, but the Dallas Cowboys’ draft class of 2021 looks frightfully familiar to the Dallas Cowboys’ draft class of 2009.


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