From Quincy Carter to Taco Charlton, Jerry Jones’ best draft day ‘winners’

Picking Jerry Jones’ finest NFL Draft day quote is a lot like selecting which of your kids is your favorite. Maybe even harder.

The only distinction exists are not numerous kids from which to pick.

As delighted (or inflamed) as you might be at the arrival of another Dallas Cowboys draft class, now is a great time to advise you of our Pro Football Hall of Popularity GM’s finest draft zingers.

These are all gathered from drafts because Jimmy Johnson left after the ‘93 season.

Enjoy the memories.


“We are really pleased with not only the way we were able to trade down, but also with the players that we had pinpointed. We could, in this draft, really make a difference on our football team in 1995.”

—Jones talking about a draft class that featured Sherman Williams, Kendall Watkins, Shane Hannah, Charlie Williams and Eric Bjornson. The Cowboys won the Super Bowl that season.


“We wanted to have a player with that pick who was of outstanding character.” … “I just didn’t have the stomach to take that threat.”

—Jones going over why the Cowboys picked North Carolina protective end Greg Ellis with the 8th general choice and handed down Marshall receiver Randy Moss.


“A pure five.”

—Jones explaining second-round choice, Tennessee Dwayne Goodrich; a “five” was the top of the Cowboys’ grading system.


“We’ve got this thing logically sequenced.”

“Making Quincy a second-round pick, we knew we’d have the time and patience for him to develop. That’s why it’s so important to get a five-year contract and make a statement to Quincy that he is more than [a middle-round projection] to us.”

—Jones on the Cowboys’ quarterback circumstance. They had actually signed seasoned complimentary representative Tony Banks to begin, and picked Georgia’s Quincy Carter in the 2nd round. Banks was cut in training school and Carter was the Week 1 starter.


“I hope that it will enhance our abilities to manage the Cowboys and manage the football team. I understand why we have been critiqued. I do believe I know more about what I’m doing than I did 10 years ago. I think what we’ve done over the past few days has given us positive credibility.”

—Jones after the Cowboys picked Oklahoma security Roy Williams in the preliminary, and Colorado offending lineman Andre Gurode and Pitt receiver Antonio Bryant in the 2nd round.


“There is nobody in sports who is not afraid to take risks more than me. There is also no one more conservative than me. There is a time and place for everything. When we are picking high in the draft, we should draft well. We got good value already. This was no time to take risks.”

—Jones after the initial draft with brand-new coach Costs Parcells. The group picked Kansas State protective back Terence Newman with the 5th general choice, and Tennessee tight end Jason Witten in the 3rd round.


“He has a great upside through osmosis with his dad. He has a high motor. He practices hard. He plays hard. He will complement what we are doing with [DeMarcus] Ware and be an immediate contributor.”

—Jones on the first-round choice of Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter. (FYI: This was a Parcells’ choice all the method.)


“We looked the alternative right in the eye, Brady Quinn. Here was a guy we had rated high. I can remember looking back and thinking how would this franchise ever get in a spot to get a quarterback that had those kind of credentials without being right at the top.

“We looked it right in the eye and we liked where we are with Tony Romo.”

—Jones after the group handed down choosing Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn in the preliminary. Offer Jerry this one.


“Let’s be accurate about this thing; we’re also seeing that when Bill was here we also made a lot of mistakes, too. Not him, we. It would be unfair to say that some of our picks, where we are on [tight end Anthony] Fasano and where we are on [Bobby] Carpenter, that’s on Bill. That’s very unfair. That’s not Bill. That was us.

“By the same token, it’s unfair to really say without Bill here, the good stuff is changing. That’s not right.”

—Jones on preparing because Parcells left after the 2006 season.


“We really maximized our draft without a No. 1. Everybody would have loved to have a No. 1. But I would not have wanted it at the expense of not having [receiver] Roy Williams. I think we were able to direct the picks at the part of the draft in the third and fourth round and do some damage in getting players to help us in a lot of different ways.”

—Jones after the group traded out of the preliminary and ultimately picked 12 gamers in the class, none of whom did much in the NFL.


“The kind of thing we did with this draft … was to maybe address more quality than quantity, which logically tells you that, ‘Hey, you feel pretty good about your team.’ I think that what Sean Lee can bring immediately and Dez [Bryant], and what we can get out of them, if we haven’t materially improved with those guys we are already pretty excited about, then we did miss here.”

—Jones after the group picked Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant in the preliminary and Penn State linebacker Sean Lee in the 2nd. It’s reasonable to state the Cowboys got those best.


“He is the best cornerback prospect our scouts have graded since Deion [Sanders]. He is a difference-maker.”

“We said before the draft the only player we had an interest in moving up to get was Claiborne. We had serious doubts he would get to six. But then the opportunity presented itself, and they started taking players in front of him and the price was right for us. To go from 14 to six, you got to give up something. By a lot of charts you got to give up more. To a get a difference-maker on defense, we pulled the trigger.”

—Jones after the Cowboys went up in the preliminary to choose LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the 6th general choice.


“I have never had a problem with any of the ones I have signed on to be a good associate with and be a good team member with because of how significant they are to everybody’s success around here.”

—Jones on picking “troubled” Nebraska protective end Randy Gregory in the 2nd round. Gregory was forecasted as a first-round gamer however “character” problems altered his status.


“When we evaluated him, we were keenly aware we had as good of information about his recovery as we ever could have. All that makes you comfortable. We were as comfortable as an old shoe.”

—Jones on choosing Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith in the 2nd round in spite of him coming off a significant knee injury sustained in his group’s championship game monthsearlier. Smith was forecasted as a top-five choice prior to the injury.


“From my perspective, he has real athleticism. He has the length we are trying to get at the right defensive end, arm length. He gives you a real good player who can play the left side and play inside as well. You got a lot of flex here. His size is one of his greatest attributes. He looks like a defensive player and defensive end in the NFL.”

—Jones after choosing Michigan protective end Taco Charlton with the 28th general choice in the draft.


“We said we weren’t going to have an elite 1 receiver. We said we’re going to have to do it by committee, by numbers or by scheme. I think this draft represented that. We honored the fact that the top receiver wasn’t that. We drafted that way. Having a real clarity as to what we weren’t going to be helps you make those decisions.

“I think we are better because I think we had a great read on where we were. As we sort through Dez and the ‘what ifs’ on Witten and where we are in the offense line, I think we got more clarity.”

—Jones on his group’s status at pass receiver without Dez Bryant. When it emerged this strategy was not working, the group traded a 2019 first-round pickto Oakland throughout the season for Amari Cooper.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.