A Coin Flip Decides The Fate of Many

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When the Ravens lost the coin flip to the Dallas Cowboys for the 16th overall pick in this year’s draft, little was made of it.

Sure it would have been nice to pick one spot higher, but at the end of the day it really didn’t seem like a big deal. If you watched the video of the coin flip, Ozzie Newsome cracked a joke when they lost, telling Stephen Jones, “you’ve got your first W of the year.”

When the Cowboys were on the clock, Radio City Music Hall and Tony Romo held their breath. It was speculated leading up to the draft that Jerry Jones had Johnny Football at the top of his draft board, and he was still available when they were picking. While Jerry Jones is clearly an incredibly successful businessman, his skills as an NFL GM are often questioned, and for good reason. It seemed likely he wouldn’t be able to resist taking Manziel.

But someone else was obviously in his ear, and cooler heads prevailed.

Instead the Cowboys made a smart and safe pick, taking Zack Martin with their first round pick, very un-Cowboy like to say the least. Had the Ravens won the coin flip, things could have been much different, and there’s a good chance C.J Mosley isn’t a Raven, and Johnny Football never leaves the state of Texas.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Ravens got a great football player and great value by taking Mosley. He is likely a top ten pick in most years and can probably make an immediate impact on an already very solid defense. Eric Decosta said they likely would have taken Mosley if they were picking at number ten, it was a great pick.

But, if the coin flip had gone the other way, it’s hard to imagine the Ravens not taking Zack Martin 16th overall and addressing one of the biggest holes they currently have on the team. With Martin off the board would the Cowboys have taken Manziel?

We’ll never know.

It’s often said that football is a game of inches, and this is possibly another example of how a few inches, or a simple coin flip can influence the fate of several players, and the direction of three great franchises.

Maybe the Ravens had Mosley pegged the whole time. Of course there is a chance they would have gone that direction either way. The fact that they passed on Haha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, both of whom would have addressed another pressing need, may suggest they thought that highly of Mosley, and planned on picking him no matter what. Again, it will likely remain a mystery.

The bottom line is C.J Mosley is a Raven, Zack Martin is a Cowboy, and Johnny Manziel is a Brown. It’ crazy to think though, how a simple coin flip could potentially have made that a totally different story, and may have had such a huge impact on the lives and careers of several people.

Regardless, I hope C.J likes crab cakes.

Welcome to Baltimore.

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About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones is a native of Belair MD and has been a Ravens fan since they came to Baltimore in 1996. He is a co-founder a Ravens Nation North, a group of displaced Ravens fans who get together every week to cheer for their home team. He is married to...more

12 Raves on “A Coin Flip Decides The Fate of Many

  1. RavenRick58 on said:

    Hey Ryan or anyone reading, why did the Ravens draft behind the Steelers when technically the Steelers finished second in the division based on tie-breakers?

    • Rdavis67 on said:

      exactly! i guess when the playoffs are on the line it’s about their tiebreakers, and then all of a sudden it changes to strength of schedule and crap. i feel like we should have picked ahead of pittsburgh too.

  2. Jeff on said:

    Actually, there is a factual basis for this and real information, which makes this piece moot. Jamison Hensley is a great reporter from ESPN with very good contacts inside the organization. One confirmed to him that the Ravens would have picked Mosley over Martin anyway. This confirms what DeCosta said publicly, that they would have picked Mosley at #10, meaning he was ranked ahead of Ebron (that makes sense to me, given Ebron’s inconsistent hands and his attitude that isn’t awful but no where near Mosley). If you aren’t going to do actual reporter and get credible information from team executives, at least read the work of real reporters who use actual, confirmed information from teach contacts. http://espn.go.com/blog/baltimore-ravens/post/_/id/9512/coin-flip-didnt-cost-ravens-a-right-tackle

    • Cheri on said:

      Of course they say that now. Remember whenever a team gets the guy they get it’s always “that’s the player we wanted all along” I think it would had been a heel of a hell battle between the D coaches and the O coaches being split and Ozzie really struggling with that pick if it had came to that.I know the Ravens go BPA but if Mossley is rated for an example 8th and Martin is 9th and you have a bigger need at tackle then LB I do think they could move off of that when only one spot is seperating the 2 players.

  3. Ryan Jones on said:

    Hey Guys
    Thanks for the feedback. I read Jamison’s work daily, and agree he’s a great reporter. However just because the Ravens are talking up their pick doesn’t necessarily mean they may not have gone a different direction given they had the choice. Sources within the team don’t always mean its a given fact.

    • Jeff on said:

      I would agree that you can’t take DeCosta’s press conference statement as iron truth. However, the Hensley story is well sourced from someone he trusts. If you don’t believe in that then you would have to think that Hensley is a bad reporter with poor judgement. I trust him and Aaron Wilson the most in terms of having good sources and knowing when to trust them.

      What evidence can you show that Hensley is wrong? I am a college professor (history) and judge work based on evidence. I see none in this article that disproves the better evidence from Hensley.

  4. Boldin Raver on said:

    What’s hilarious is the Cowboys had the worst defense EVER (really) and went with a tackle after losing their star DE. How does that guy avoid getting tarred and feathered by Cowboy fans? Jerry would have been lauded for picking up Mosely instead he does more to protect Romo. Anybody remember when Romo was castigated 24X7 for three straight days on ESPN for throwing the interception that lost the game against Denver? Romo and the Cowboys lose after giving up 50-some points and all anybody can talk about is their QB who led them to 48 points in a loss. Even after the Super Bowl everyone thinks the only path to glory is through another pass catcher, another tackle, a better QB. I know the Ravens blew it last year with the o-line and they need to get it fixed, but I’ve been watching player rankings since October and Mosely has always been top shelf wheras Martin only recently got a shine to him – because of a late emphasis on tackles. There is always room for doubt that Mosely was the best player available because Draft information is always suspect, but I find DeCosta’s claim very credible. I think the potential is there for Mosely and Brown to be something really special in a few years.

  5. reisterstown raven on said:

    thank u jeff, I am so sick of hearing all these wanna be gms crying about not drafting martin. Mosley may be the most solid backer in the whole draft ( yes better thaN MACK). in 2 years we may have one of the best set of inside backers in the league. go mosley and brown!

    • Cheri on said:

      I hope you are right but Brown did not show a lot last year at a position that typically you don’t need a lot of time to prepare for like QB, WR etc .As a middle LB he should had been able to step right in and made a much bigger impact then he did.I know he is a GOAT but just look at Ray Ray’s first year. Mosley has all the traits to be a really good one here is hoping Nick Saben hasn’t burnt him out like a lot of his players who end up a as a NFL bust.

  6. crewed on said:

    Seems to me if Ravens say Moseley was rated much higher than Pryor and Ha Ha on their board, its reasonable to assume he was much higher than OT that Dallas took. Safety and OT were both positions of need. The Ravens took Mosely even though he played in a position of lesser need. He must have been really high on the Ravens board and they didn’t expect him to be there. Same might be said for the DT who fell to them in round 2. When guys high on your board fall to you, you got to take them. The Ravens got a top 10 value at 17 in round 1. The Ravens got a round 1 value in the 2nd round. Go Ravens.

  7. Voice of Reason on said:

    I think that the hilarious part of this is that ILB was pretty much just as big of a need for us as OT. People are acting like Arthur Brown was a star last year. Really, beyond Daryl Smith, we were just as thin at that position as we were at OT beyond Monroe. And, arguably, you need more bodies for it, as there’s more specialization and rotation.

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