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A franchise quarterback, a sacrificial lamb, and an older brother walk into the Cowboys’ fourth round…

The deeper into the draft, especially after the expanded to 32 teams, the harder it is to find players who will impact the team.

As was the case in the third round, the Cowboys only made six picks in the fourth round during all of the 1960s.

And just like the previous round, the Cowboys found their stride in the 1970s, starting with John Fitzgerald in 1970.

They would find Pat Donovan and Randy Hughes in the fourth round in 1975 and in 1976.

Dallas' two best picks in the round during the 1980s came late in the decade — Tony Tolbert (1989) and Kelvin Martin (1987).

Both players helped build the dynasty team of the early 1990s.

The Brothers Pelluer

The Cowboys drafted the older brother of their future starting quarterback, Steve Pelluer (who Dallas would draft in 1984).

Drafted in 1981 as a , Scott Pelluer was waived prior to the start of the season that year.

He would land in New Orleans for five years.

Steve Pelluer
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The two would meet on the football field in 1984, a 30-27 overtime Dallas win.

Scott was on special teams and Steve never saw a single snap of live action.

Message Sent, Message Received

The most notorious pick of the 1990s — and for all the wrong reasons — came in 1991 when the Cowboys picked Curvin Richards in the fourth round.

He lasted two seasons and was released because wanted to send a message to his team.

With the Cowboys preparing for a run in 1992, Richard started the final regular season game against the Bears, a game won by Dallas 27-14. But Richards fumbled twice in the game, drawing Johnson's ire and earning Richards a pink slip.

His teammates got the message and steamrolled their way to a championship.

The Unexpected Franchise Quarterback

In the first decade of the new century, Dallas found quality players in the fourth round: (2003), Marion Barber III (2005), and Doug Free (2007).

But they found a franchise quarterback in the round in 2016 — and with their second pick of the round at that.

Merry Christmas: Dak Prescott deliver after early pick-6

After taking early in the round, the Cowboys had a very late pick remaining — 135th overall — and selected .

They never dreamt he'd be thrust into the role of starting quarterback as soon as he was.

The pick seemed to indicate a run of solid fourth-rounders to come.

They have taken the recently departed (2018), now starting running back (2019), starting center Tyler Biadasz (2020), and presumed starting (2022) in the fourth round.

Dallas Cowboys All-Time Fourth-Round Picks:

1961 Arnold Davis End

1962 No Pick

1963 Whaley Hall Tackle

1964 Perry Lee Dunn Running back.

1965 Jimmy Sidle Running Back; Bob Svihus

1966 No Pick

1967 Curtis Marker Guard

1968 John Douglas Linebacker

1969 No Pick

1970 John Fitzgerald Center

1971 Joe Carter Tight End; Adam Mitchell Offensive Tackle

1972 Tim Kearney Linebacker; Robert West ; Chuck Zapiec Linebacker

1973 Drane Scrivener Defensive Back

1974 Ken Hutcherson Linebacker; Andy Adrade Linebacker

1975 Pat Donovan Defensive End; Randy Hughes Safety

1976 Tom Rafferty Guard

1977 Guy Brown Linebacker

1978 Alois Blackwell Running Back

1979 Ralph DeLoach Defensive End

1980 Kurt Petersen Defensive End

1981 Scott Pelluer Linebacker; Derrie Nelson Linebacker

1982 Brian Carpenter Cornerback; Monty Hunter Safety

1983 Chris Faulkner Tight End

1984 Steve DeOssie Linebacker

1985 Robert Lavette Running Back

1986 Max Zendejas

1987 Kelvin Martin Wide Receiver

1988 Dave Widell Offensive Tackle

1989 Tony Tolbert Defensive End

1990 No Pick

1991 Curvin Richards Running Back; Bill Musgrave Quarterback; Tony Hill Defensive End; Kevin Harris Defensive End

1992 Tom Myslinski Guard

1993 Derrick Lassic Running Back; Ron Stone Guard

1994 Willie Jackson Wide Receiver; DeWayne Dotson Linebacker

1995 Eric Bjornson Tight End; Alundis Brice Defensive Back

1996 No Pick

1997 Antonio Anderson Defensive Tackle; Macey Brooks Wide Receiver; Nicky Sualua Fullback

1998 Michael Myers Defensive Tackle

1999 Wane McGarity Wide Receiver; Peppi Zellner Defensive End

2000 Kareem Larrimore Cornerback

2001 Markus Steele Linebacker

2002 Jamar Martin Fullback

2003 Bradie James Linebacker

2004 Bruce Thornton Cornerback

2005 Marion Barber III Running Back; Chris Canty Defensive End

2006 Skyler Green Wide Receiver

2007 Wide Receiver; Doug Free Offensive Tackle

2008 Running Back

2009 Stephen McGee Quarterback; Linebacker; Defensive End

2010 Akwasi Owusu-Ansah Safety

2011 David Arkin Guard

2012 Kyle Wilber Linebacker; Safety

2013 B. W. Webb Cornerback

2014 Linebacker

2015 Linebacker

2016 Charles Tapper Defensive End; Dak Prescott Quarterback

2017 Wide Receiver

2018 Jr. Defensive End; Dalton Schultz Tight End

2019 Tony Pollard Running Back

2020 Reggie Robinson II Cornerback; Tyler Biadasz Center

2021 Linebacker; Offensive Tackle

2022 Jake Ferguson Tight End

Richard Paolinelli
Richard Paolinelli
Richard has covered sports at all levels - from local, prep, college, and professional - since 1984. He has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since 1969. Since retiring as a full-time sports writer in 2013, he has written and published several novels, two dozen short stories and two sports non-fiction books.

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