The Dallas Cowboys left themselves open to the slings and arrows of fans and pundits when (as most would agree) they reached for Wisconsin center Travis Frederick with the 31st overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
But Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram spoke to a team source who said, "All in all, it was probably the most successful draft we've had in a while.
"We got a guy in the fifth round (running back Joseph Randle) we had on the board in the third. We got good value on guys instead of reaching as we did in the past. Last year, we needed a safety and might have pumped a little air in (fourth-round pick Matt Johnson). We took him earlier than we needed to. That didn't happen this year, other than maybe the first round," the source said. "We got good value."
Hill's source admits that pockets of team personnel viewed Frederick as a reach (which alone is troubling), but the piece credits the Cowboys for grabbing tight end Gavin Escobar in the second round, "right where he was projected to go." Last we checked, that's neither a victory nor a defeat.
Team owner Jerry Jones this week gushed over Randle, saying he would be called on to split carries with DeMarco Murray. Jones in the process threw Murray under the bus, saying that leaning solely on his injury-prone starter conjured "visions of 8-8."
Where Jones refuses to point the finger is at himself, the true magician behind back-to-back .500 affairs.
While general managers league-wide are held accountable and often fired when their teams struggle, Jones remains untouchable. Despite two decades worth of drafts that reveal Jones has, at very best, a subpar eye for talent, he continues to pick players for a Cowboys franchise that can't get out of its own way.
Jones never was trained as a scout, but seems to think he can do the job as well as anyone else, which should make hard-working scouts everywhere red-faced.
In the end, pretty quotes out of Dallas won't erase the core problem faced by this mediocre franchise.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.