Ah yes…Pre-season….that time of year when lots of noise and scrutiny are made by us fans and the sports media over games that mean absolutely nothing in the standings, and mostly involve players who will not play much or even be on the roster by the time the regular season starts Sept. 11.
It’s ok. It’s a time honored practice. Make training camp practices, pre-season games and a host of marginal players the center of fan talk and scrutiny. Been a tradition for decades.
But here are some facts to consider about the players who mostly play in the pre-season:
- Over 30% of the players currently playing the majority of Cowboys pre-season game snaps will never play a regular season snap for us.
- According to a 2016 study by Pro Football Reference, of the 260 players drafted each year in the NFL, only about 25 will go on to have “significant careers performing at a high level”, and that the “bust rate” for draft choices is actually pretty high. (Here’s link to the article if interested: https://www.dailynorseman.com/2022/4/26/23042105/nfl-draft-pick-bust-rate-remains-very-high)
- Only about half of 1st round draft picks sign a second contract with their original team. For 2nd-5th rounders it significantly less than that.
- The vast majority of players playing in our pre-season games will not even be in the NFL three years from now.
So remember- yes it’s fun to watch football again. Even if it’s bad football as we saw Saturday night. But the key thing to remember is this- pre-season games mean a whole lot less than what we as fans seem to think they do.
PS games rarely indicate much about the team’s readiness for the regular season and it rarely shows us a new player that is going to make a big difference when the regular season starts. The real Cowboys will show us what they are starting Sept. 11th.