FRISCO, Texas -- Jerry Jones is not unlike any other general manager in this sense: he wants a "war daddy" pass-rusher.
Well, every team in the NFL does, so Jones will have to get in line.
When he made the comment to ESPN 103.3 FM radio this week, the focus was mostly on free agency. Jason Pierre-Paul's name has come up. Jean-Jacques Taylor mentioned Mario Addison, who has 22 sacks in the past three seasons for Carolina, as a possibility in this story, but is he a war daddy? (Raise your hand if you knew who he was. I didn’t. My bad. You shouldn’t have to Google war daddies.)
Jones also mentioned the possibility of getting one in the draft.
When you’re picking No. 28 in the first round, it’s hard to find a war daddy.
The last one picked that late in the first round that could get into that mix is Whitney Mercilus of the Texans. He was the 26th pick in 2012 and has 37.5 sacks. Nick Perry went to Green Bay two picks later and has 23.5 sacks, but 11 came in 2016. Is he a one-year wonder?
Chandler Jones was the 21st pick in 2012 and has 47 sacks. He could be a free agent if Arizona doesn't put the franchise tag on him. Guess what? He won’t be available when the market opens. He will be tagged or signed to a new deal by the Cardinals. Melvin Ingram, the 18th pick in 2012, could be available as well. He has 18.5 sacks over the past two years, but can he play in the Cowboys' 4-3 scheme?
Though the 2012 draft has produced some quality pass-rushers in the second half of the first round, the drafts from 2013-15 have not. It’s too soon to decide what the 2016 draft has or hasn’t produced.
Jarvis Jones (17th overall, Pittsburgh, 2013) has never had more than 2 sacks in a season. Bjoern Warner (24th overall, Indianapolis, 2013) is out of football. Dee Ford (23rd overall, Kansas City, 2014) had 10 sacks in 2016, nearly doubling his total from his first two seasons. Philadelphia made Marcus Smith a surprise pick at No. 26 overall in 2014 and he has not had more than 2.5 sacks in a season.
The odds of the Dallas Cowboys finding a war daddy at No. 28 are not great, even if this is supposedly a good year for pass-rushers.
But what about beyond the 28th overall pick? Yannick Ngakoue was the 69th overall pick for Jacksonville in 2016 and had 8 sacks. The Cowboys would have picked Emmanuel Ogbah in the second round if he didn’t go to Cleveland at No. 32 overall. He had 5.5 sacks as a rookie.
In 2015 there were 11 defensive ends picked between Rounds 2-4, but only three had more than 4 sacks as a rookies. They were led by Preston Smith, a second-round pick by Washington who had eight. New England picked Trey Flowers in the fourth round that year, and though he did not have a sack as a rookie, he had 7 in 2016 and made several big plays in Super Bowl LI.
He was the 101st pick. The same selection the Cowboys used in 2016 on Charles Tapper, who did not play as a rookie because of a back injury.
In 2014, there were eight pass-rushers picked in Rounds 2-4, but none had more than 4 sacks as a rookie. In 2013, there were 11 pass-rushers picked in Rounds 2-4 and none had more than 3 sacks as a rookie.
If Jones wants his war daddy, he will have to spend money in free agency or make some kind of trade up in the first round or for a proven commodity.
They don’t come cheap.
Neither does the chance to win a Super Bowl.