IRVING — The NFL draft is over, but the questions about what Dallas actually got have just begun.
"I would say it's off to a very bad start," said Craig Miller, morning show host on SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket.
"This was typical of the Cowboys," said ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. "I give them a lot of 'D's' in terms of a grade, because they're big 'D.' I figured I'd give them a 'D,' and they earned a lot of those 'D's'."
"I think in a lot of ways, they're hoping Terrance Williams saved the draft for them," said Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw.
"The problem is, Jerry and the Cowboys' draft room doesn't have a lot of credibility," added George Dunham, Miller's partner at The Ticket.
Some fans called it a mismanagement of the team because they didn't properly address the offensive line, the defensive line or the position of safety.
Dallas has a history of making unexpected picks, and it happened again this year — selections that appear to be off the chart.
"The chart thing, it really is not accurate," said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. "It's not a big thing; it’s not a big thing with us, if you think we didn't hit charts or not. It really is not, and I sound defensive, and we don't want to be. The truth is, we are known for willing to take risks and milk the draft."
"St. Louis traded down eight spots and got a third-rounder and a sixth rounder; the Cowboys traded down 13 spots and got just a third-rounder," Miller noted. "So it sounds like they got fleeced a little bit in the trade, and then they ended up taking a reach with a center they probably could have gotten in the third round."
"While not totally buying into Jerry's logic that they got three of their top 25 picks, I think if you combine Frederick with the wide receiver, maybe that doesn't quite so bad for the team," Cowlishaw added.
Of the seven picks Dallas had, four were on offense.
Quarterback Tony Romo was called to Valley Ranch on Friday to study tape and apparently liked what he saw in tight end Gavin Escobar and wide receiver Terrance Williams.
It’s unclear whether Romo was allowed to cast a deciding vote.
"This thing wasn't done just for Tony," Jones said. "It would appear by looking at the interior, by looking at the tight end, by looking at the receiver, by looking at the running back, you're all over the board. Well, if you happen to have those players that were there, they did address specific things that I’ve outlined here that were my top four things that we needed to do to help the offense."
"We were productive in the passing game last year like we've been in previous years," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. "But again, if we can create more balance, I think that's good for our offense, it’s good for our quarterback, and it’s good for our football team."
"They feel like they're doing whatever it is that Jerry has in mind to make it more 'Romo-friendly' — build around Romo and use his talents — and it's coming a little bit at the expense of the defense," Cowlishaw observed.
"I think they've done a really nice job of knowing where to take players since that first pick, and even that first pick, could have been a third-rounder fine, but he's going to be a good starter," said ESPN analyst Todd McShay.
"This is an attempt to recognize some of the really positives, real positives that we've had over the last several years, but it's an attempt to change things up," Jones said.
The next step for this Cowboys Class of 2013 is to show up at Valley Ranch for their first rookie mini-camp on Thursday, May 9. It’s a day they all have circled on their calendars.
"Yeah I can't wait," said tight end and second round pick Gavin Escobar."I mean, we've been doing the Combine, pro days and everything like that, and watching our teammates, and that's what we do. We play football, so I'm sure we're all excited to get out there."
"The hard part is done now," added wide receiver and third round pick Terrance Williams. "Now it’s our time to display our talents and get back on the football field to get better and help this team win."
"It's been kind of weird not playing football, so it'll be nice to get back out there and get to work," center Travis Frederick, the team’s first round pick, added.
Only then will we see what Dallas actually got in this year’s draft.