Could the Cowboys Earn the #1 Overall Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft?

Tony Romo - Clavicle Fracture (Out 6-8 weeks)

The Cowboys are 1-5. Their starting quarterback for most likely the rest of the season is Jon Kitna. They have one of the most challenging schedules in the NFL. So, Monday night, as I used my throwback Romo jersey to wipe tears of anger from my eyes and cursed the angry Dallas-sports-hating god for finally perfecting the violent nut-shot he inflicts upon me at least twice every year, I wondered….could we suck so bad for the rest of the season that the Cowboys could finish with the worst record in the NFL? Let’s find out together. (I’m so excited!!)

Step One: Dallas’ Projected Final Record

Below is the Cowboys’ remaining schedule and my predicted result for each game based on what I’ve seen from my favorite team so far this season, and the knowledge that Jon Kitna is so bad that it’s only a matter of time before the even worse (but younger!!) Stephen McGee becomes the starter in Dallas.

10/31 vs. Jacksonville (L)
11/7 at Green Bay (L)
11/14 at New York Giants (L)
11/21 vs. Detroit (W)
11/25 vs. New Orleans (L)
12/5…note, we are in December now with 2 wins….at Indianapolis (L)
12/12 vs. Philadelphia (L)
12/19 vs. Washington (L)
12/25 at Arizona (W)
1/2 at Philadelphia (L)

As you can see, it is absolutely, depressingly possible for the 2010 Dallas Cowboys to finish the season with a 3-13 record (but at least we beat the Lions!!). Now, sure, they could win a game or two more than that. However, the important thing for this exercise is that the Kitna/McGee led Cowboys COULD certainly finish with this 3-13 record that I speak of. Sweet mother of mercy help us all.

Step Two: Who Else Could Possibly Suck as Bad as the Cowboys?

I know what you’re thinking. There’s always some team that finishes 3-13, or 2-14…the Lions went 0-16 two years ago!! Well that’s true, but parity is at an all-time high this year in the NFL. The Browns just beat the Saints. Oakland scored 59 on a team that took the Jets to the wire the week before. That said, here is – in my mind – the only competition standing in the way of Dallas’ new ultimate goal, and the overtly winnable games left on their schedule (listed in order of most likely to somehow actually be worse than Dallas):

1. Buffalo (0-6)
vs. Chicago, vs. Detroit, @ Cincinnati, vs. Cleveland

2. Detroit (1-5)
vs. Washington, @ Buffalo, @ Dallas, vs Chicago, vs. Green Bay, @ Tampa Bay

3. Cleveland (2-5)
@ Jacksonville, vs. Carolina, @ Buffalo, vs. Cincinnati

4. Carolina (1-5)
@ St. Louis, vs. New Orleans (always play them close), @ Tampa Bay, @ Cleveland, @ Seattle, vs. Arizona

5. San Francisco (1-6)
vs. Denver, vs. St. Louis, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Arizona, vs. Seattle, @ San Diego, @St, Louis, vs. Arizona

So let’s review. Based on the current records of these contenders, if we assume that each team wins just half of their winnable remaining games only one team finishes with an equal or worse record than the Cowboys. Thank you, Buffalo!

But in all honesty, after the Bills gave the Ravens all they could handle this past week, with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns, isn’t it reasonably plausible that the Bills win 3 of those 4 winnable games? I mean it’s not like that means they’ll win 75% of the rest of their games. It just means that they’ll win 3 of those 4, and 3 of 10 overall. It could happen, and you know it.

Step Three: Who Would the Cowboys Draft?

Regardless of whether the above does or doesn’t shake out to give Dallas the #1 overall pick, I really don’t see how they aren’t picking in the Top 5 next April. So, who would Jerry jump on with a pick that high? I’m actually not sure. But be sure to check back with Illegalshift.com for a breakdown on the draft-eligible guys that the Cowboys’ would be most likely snag with their first Top 10 pick in the draft since they drafted Terrence Newman in 2003.

– Warzecha –

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20 responses to this post.

  1. I say we trade down, stock up and get some O-line and Secondary help.

    Reply

    • Posted by Warzecha on October 26, 2010 at 10:17 am

      That may not be a bad idea, depending on the deal, but the great thing about having a really high pick is that you have it in every round. If we could get an elite OT, elite OG, and top end safety/corner in those first three early picks, I’d be happy to stay put.

      Reply

  2. My projected Cowboys finish:

    10/31 vs. Jacksonville (W)
    11/7 at Green Bay (L)
    11/14 at New York Giants (L)
    11/21 vs. Detroit (L)
    11/25 vs. New Orleans (L)
    12/5 at Indianapolis (L)
    12/12 vs. Philadelphia (L)
    12/19 vs. Washington (W)
    12/25 at Arizona (W)
    1/2 at Philadelphia (L)

    Reply

  3. This is the most depressing/hope inspiring thing ever. The thought of us having the #1 pick is ridiculous based on our talent yet exciting when thinking about picking up someone that talented. One thing to note, with the CBA issues, the #1 pick in 2011 won’t get Stafford, Bradford, Jake Long money so we won’t be hit as hard financially. Other thoughts:

    – Trade Barber for a 3rd (if we can get it)
    – Secure back up QB (Kitna probably won’t be the best back up out there at age 39)
    – Draft needs: RT, CB, G, S

    Reply

    • Posted by Warzecha on October 26, 2010 at 10:14 am

      I would even trade Barber for a highish 4th. We got him for a 4th 5 years ago and got good use out of him. Getting that 4th back would be fine by me.

      Back-Up QB for sure. However, like I said in the post I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if McGee starts games for us this season. Maybe he shows us he is the guy. That would be nice.

      Draft Needs – I agree completely. There may be another position or two depending on contract situations though. @IllegalShift will need to investigate….

      Reply

      • Posted by Spencer on October 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm

        Totally agree a 4th round pick would be great for Barber, especially since Choice looks serviceable, and i hope that McGee looks good, it should be a good spot for him considering the weapons and that huge security blanky we have for TE.

        Reply

  4. Posted by jon on October 26, 2010 at 9:42 am

    get another receiver!

    Reply

  5. Posted by DoubleLever on October 26, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Maybe the Cowboys should draft an effective General Manager???

    Reply

  6. Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden! Jon Gruden!

    Reply

  7. And by the way, even if the Bills do finish with a worse record, they are a complete lock to take either Luck or Locker at #1. Therefore, even if the Boys get the 2nd pick, it is really like the 1st pick but cheaper.

    Reply

    • Maybe the Bills, Raiders, Jaguars or Niners will have worse records and draft a qb.

      Reply

      • Seriously. Looking at Kiper’s big board at the moment, the entire top 12 or so is QBs, DEs and DTs with two corners in the Top 5. I could see us taking either of them (Peterson or Prince whatshisname from Nebraska) or sliding back to around 15 to take the top-rated OL.

        Reply

        • I think from now till then his board will evolve to include a top 5 OL. If not, i like the idea of trading back and grabbing an extra pick or two. We have to address immediate needs now. No more drafting for special teams (’09 entire draft) or players we think have great value (Sean Lee). The OL and secondary have to be addressed.

          Reply

        • Posted by Spencer on October 26, 2010 at 5:06 pm

          Peterson should be who they take, another returning weapon (even tho Dez looks nasty) and then probably a Safety or Tackle

          Reply

  8. Posted by benjie on October 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    You do realize your QB got removed from the Detroit Lions. Hows that make you feel?

    Reply

    • Wait, are you talking about that Kitna guy that threw for over 4,000 yards two years in a row with the Lions before he got hurt and placed on IR?

      Reply

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