While Volunteer Ignorance reigns at The Star, Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Brown are just the latest to lead the way in the modern era.
Yes. The brown ones. The NFL's laughing stock has emerged as AFC North's favorite by sending strikes to New York for Odell Beckham Jr. after already winning the Pro Bowl defense, Olivier Vernon, from the Giants in a separate contract.
The Browns are all in, as they should be. This is what teams made up of good young quarterbacks on recruiting contracts have learned to do. Scratch it. That's what more teams with good young quarterbacks on rookie contracts have learned to do so.
As Dak Prescott enters the fourth season, the last season of his rookie contract, the Cowboys play a waiting game that is both confusing and frustrating for their fans. It's not like the team was incompetent. It's not like they're compiling one season at a time.
The Cowboys win, but not much. Not enough, anyway. They see themselves as the division's class because they won three of the previous five seasons, but, as you know too painfully, none of these teams has gone beyond the second round of the playoffs.
I say "voluntary ignorance" because it's not as if the Cowboys did not know what others are doing. They simply chose to take a pass. Yes, they shot Sammy Watkins and missed him last winter. They exchanged a first-round pick for Amari Cooper, but only after their miscalculations led to a 3-4 record. They nod their head at the notion of short-term acquisitions offering help.
The time has come to build a powerful quarterback team that is making $ 2 million this season after winning $ 630,000 last season. The number next year will be in the range of $ 20 million. Thus, the days of Prescott counting for less than 1% of the total salary ceilings of the team have disappeared. The Cowboys could have followed the example of so many others, but they never went to the front after discovering what the fourth round had brought them in 2016.
Seattle and Pete Carroll led the way six years ago. Russell Wilson, a third-round pick, won a playoff game as a rookie. The Seahawks traded their first-round pick and rebuilt their defensive line in attack with Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. They won the next Super Bowl and went to two.
The Los Angeles Rams, after hiring Sean McVay – who quickly proved that Jared Goff was not in fact a failure – took part in the playoffs in 2017 and got on the job with signatures of the two. a year and acquisitions of veterans for 2018. They came just a little before, but they went to the Super Bowl. How much of an NFC title in Dallas would it feel like a success after not having won one of the last 23 years?
I'm not going to suggest that the Eagles knew that these changes would lead to a Lombardi trophy, but after Carson Wentz's rookie season, realizing that they needed better receivers, they quickly moved into free placement to add Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Nick Foles' signature did not hurt either. Howie Roseman's off season in 2017 may be a different story, but it still represented a team that was trying to modernize quickly with veterans around a young quarterback.
The Browns are simply the last ones. They saw what Baker Mayfield could do as a rookie, guiding a team that went from 0 to 16 to a 7-8-1 record and who stayed alive for a wild card spot in late December. They added Beckham and Kareem Hunt to the offensive, Vernon to defense and should probably be favored over Baltimore as the division's best team.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones likes to talk about the number of games Prescott has won since day one. The record of 32-16 in the regular season is remarkable, which leads to the frustrating part. The most experienced team Prescott guided (both sides of the ball) was his first. Since the success of 2016, the Cowboys have gradually created a younger team, which is good, but it's a way of doing business in the '90s. When the Cowboys have won three of the four Super Bowls, this Wonderful core has been maintained at least in the first two titles, until the rules of free will begin to change and as team building methods develop.
The teams are now going to the Super Bowls with all sorts of mixes of young and old. But for those lucky enough not to pay 10% of their minimum wage to the quarterback, it has been proven that adding key veterans to support these young passers-by was a proven way to succeed.
It was the last chance for the Cowboys to add a count Thomas to the other side of the ball, to provide another type of quarterback to the defense. The Baltimore Ravens, who took part in the playoffs with a rookie quarterback last season, added Thomas instead, after suffering significant losses in their defense.
That's one thing the Cowboys avoid. They lost Cole Beasley and Geoff Swaim and Damien Wilson – strong contributors, of course mostly Beasley – but no major losses will be suffered this year. The Cowboys seek to maintain the status quo in a category where it does not even exist anymore. And the time has just expired to take advantage of Prescott's status as a boon.
This subject is missing your voice.