Dallas Cowboys Scouting Director Larry Lacewell Retires

Larry Lacewell, Scouting Director For Past 12 Seasons Calling It Quits (Dallas Cowboys.com)

After finishing 6-10 last season, changes were undoubtedly expected for the Cowboys this off-season. The first big change will start in the scouting department, where longtime Director of College and Pro scouting Larry Lacewell will retire from the position. Lacewell, a longtime friend of Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones, came to the Cowboys in 1992 and has overseen the last 11 drafts here at Valley Ranch. The Cowboys have yet to announce a replacement, although this move was expected in the organization. Lacewell, who turns 68 in February, sold his house in Dallas last spring and recently bought some property in Hot Springs, Ark.

But a change in leadership might be good, considering some of the recent draft history for the Cowboys. This past year, the Cowboys saw little overall production from their eight draft picks. While Julius Jones, the club’s top pick, did return from a shoulder injury to finish the season strong, rushing for 819 yards in eight games, the Cowboys didn’t get anything out of their next three picks. Second-round offensive tackle Jacob Rogers only played sparingly on special teams and never on offense, while third-round guard Stephen Peterman suffered a torn ACL in preseason and missed the entire season. Fourth-round pick Bruce Thornton was inactive for the first three games before suffering a torn ACL in his first game of the season.

In 2003, Parcells’ first draft with the Cowboys, the club did come away with promising young talent, including cornerback Terence Newman in the first round, center Al Johnson in the second and then a third-round pick of tight end Jason Witten, who was elected to the Pro Bowl this past season.

But the Cowboys don’t have much to show for the previous drafts. Since 1997, only six players (Dexter Coakley, Greg Ellis, Flozell Adams, Dat Nguyen, Roy Williams and Andre Gurode) were prominent starters this past season, stemming from drafts before head coach Bill Parcells took over in 2003.

True all around. It’s hard to know whom to blame for most of the Cowboys’ woes, since owner-General Manager Jerry Jones famously circumvented his expert hired hands to pursue longshot hunches like Quincy Carter. Clearly, though, the Cowboys have to get more out of their drafts to become Super Bowl contenders again.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Chad Evans says:

    I’ve had the pleasure to meet Lacewell and he’s incredibly kind and intelligent. The problem with the Cowboys’ drafting woes is Jerry Jones, not Lacewell and he’d tell you that if you ever talked to him.