Justin Houston was one of my “The Guys No One Is Talking About” leading up to the 2011 NFL draft and the #1` pass rusher on my board.
I had a high first round grade on Justin Houston despite the mainstream media picking apart his character. In fact, I stood on the table for him throughout the draft Process. Unfortunately, 32 GM’s (Jerry Jones included) missed on the best pass rusher in the draft until the Chiefs got the steal of the decade in the 3rd round.
In 53 NFL starts, Justin Houston amassed 234 tackles, 48.5 sacks and 19 PDef’s. In 2014 he amassed 68 tackles, led the NFL with 22 sacks ( 1/2 a sackÂ short of Michael Strahan’s single season sack record) and forced four fumbles. Not bad for “A Guy No One Was Talking About”.
When Jerry Jones gave up the Cowboys first and second round draft picks to trade up and get Morris Claiborne (probably the biggest bust in franchise history) with Justin Houston on the board, I was livid. Despite having a top 10 grade on him, I mocked him for the Cowboys in the 2nd round that year knowing the media hurt his stock. Oh what could have been?
Well Mr. Jones, you didn’t listen to me then, but you have a chance to redeem yourself. For years you have been putting all of your eggs in the offensive basket for the defense to fall short in the post season. Defense Wins Championships!
The Dallas Cowboys already have two offensive contracts in excess of $100 million dollars. Before you break the bank on Dez Bryant take a page out of Belichick’s book. By not breaking the bank on skill positions he maintains balance across the board. Thus 14 consecutive winning seasons and 4 straight championship appearances.
Tony Romo has proven that he can make any WR look good. The Cowboys can win without Dez Bryant, but they will never get to the big show without a pass rush. The window for Romo and Witten is closing. The time to win is now. Please give them a defense! Justin Houston is a great place to start.