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NFL Draft

Cowboys 2018 Draft Needs: Wide Receiver

Jess Haynie

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Terrance Williams
Scott Boehm via AP

After last week's stunning release of Dez Bryant, the receiver position has become the primary focus of the Dallas Cowboys 2018 draft analysis. There is no guarantee that they will use their first-round pick there, but it's looking like a pretty safe bet.

Even if Dez had stayed in town, a young receiving talent was being targeted in the early rounds. Now the Cowboys may need this rookie to contribute immediately, which makes waiting even until the 50th pick (2nd round) a dangerous proposition.

You can read plenty of content about 2018 receiver prospects and how they may fit for the Cowboys elsewhere on our site. For this article, we're going to focus on the guys currently on the team and how their presence impacts the need for a receiver in the draft.

Here are the receivers currently signed to the Dallas roster:

  • Terrance Williams (6th year)
  • Allen Hurns (5th year, new to Cowboys)
  • Cole Beasley (7th year)
  • Deonte Thompson (7th year, new to Cowboys)
  • Ryan Switzer (2nd year)
  • Noah Brown (2nd year)
  • Lance Lenior (2nd year)
  • KD Cannon (2nd year)

Of these players, the only one who's ever come close to putting up numbers like Dez Bryant is Hurns. In 2015, Allen had 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That said, Hurns was the second receiver in the Jags offense with Allen Robinson doing even bigger and better things. With Robinson missing nearly all of 2017 with an injury, Hurns' per-game production only saw a minor increase from the year before. The Jacksonville offense, despite their playoff success, was not its strong point.

Terrance Williams

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Receivers who've proven unable to step into the lead role is the big issue for the Cowboys. For five years, Terrance Williams has shown he's nothing more than a secondary player. You can count as many blunders as highlights over his career, and even when Bryant's been injured he hasn't shown he can respond to more opportunities.

This is one of the reasons that Dallas let Brice Butler walk in free agency. Like Terrance, Brice showed he could make the occasional play but was not consistent enough to be trusted with more responsibility.

Cole Beasley was the Cowboys' leading receiver in 2016, when they went 13-3 and the future looked bright. He caught 75 balls on just 98 targets, a staggering level of efficiency, and has by far shown the most chemistry with Dak Prescott so far.

But Beasley isn't going to stretch the field or keep defenses honest. Last year, realizing that Cole had become the bigger concern than Dez Bryant, opponents took him out of the game and forced Prescott to go to his other guys.

Of course, this was helped by the absence of Ezekiel Elliott during his suspension. But even when Zeke was on the field, the Cowboys offense rarely looked the same as 2016. This had a lot to do with the strategic elimination of Beasley from the receiving game.

Cole Beasley

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley

We can expect things to stay the same as the 2018 season opens. Until one of them proves otherwise, Allen Hurns or Terrance Williams aren't going to scare anybody. Teams will still focus on Beasley as Dak's favorite receiver until another receiver starts to take advantage of that.

Hurns is a far more proficient route runner than Bryant, and still just 26 years old, so there is hope that he could bring a little more juice to the offense. Perhaps that addition, plus Elliott's full-time return, will open things up for Beasley and Prescott to get back to their 2016 form.

But as we said before, Hurns hasn't shown he can play big without a true franchise receiver across the way.

Dallas also added veteran Deonte Thompson in free agency, but he's essentially a Brice Butler replacement. He won't be higher than fourth on the depth chart and bring a vertical threat, but isn't expected to take on a major role.

This is a key reason that Dallas will be looking at receivers early in this 2018 draft. There is no guarantee that any of their current players can command enough respect from defenses.

In that situation, what you hope is that you have enough talented guys out there to give your QB options. A rookie receiver isn't likely to step into leading role this season anyway, but he might provide enough spark that everyone benefits.

And even if 2018 concerns weren't enough, a long-term view also makes receiver a top priority. The Cowboys need to invest now to prepare for the future at the position.

Calvin Ridley

Alabama WR Calvin Ridley (Butch Dill/Getty Images)

Cole Beasley's contract expires in 2019. Depending on how next season goes, Terrance Williams and Allen Hurns could be released for salary cap savings. Deonte Thompson is on just a one-year deal.

If nothing else, the Cowboys are going to need more guys to play receiver in years to come. But bodies aren't enough; they need a young guy to form the complete the offensive nucleus of the team with Prescott and Elliott.

Nobody expects Ryan Switzer or Noah Brown to emerge as the next franchise receiver, and it would be foolish to do so. But if the Cowboys can land a Calvin Ridley or D.J. Moore now, that player might be ready to step into the top spot in 2019 and for future seasons.

Clearly, for both immediate and long-term reasons, Dallas will be focused on the WR position in this draft.

Still, it may not be the first round. Depending on who's available at the 19th pick, Dallas may decide they'd rather grab a new starting guard, defensive tackle, safety, or linebacker. The current front office is loath to draft solely for need.

But if all things are even on talent, there is an easy case to be made for receiving being the team's greatest need in this draft.

~ ~ ~

Other 2018 Draft Needs articles:



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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14 Comments
  • Chuck Wright CLU

    If Dallas takes Ridley or Moore at 19, good to go. but there are some options in round 2 and maybe 3.

    Realize everyone has their favorites. Top of the 2nd round group to me is James Washington, very productive in college, runs good routes, has the speed and talent to get separation then make teams pay when he catches the ball. Great locker room guy.

    Of course there is Anthony Miller, Cain from CLemson, Hamilton PSU DJ Chalk LSU and a guy who would be great in the slot, big upgrade over what we have now, Donte Pettis.

  • Chuck Wright

    More good stuff. Clearly WR a bigger need. Ridley or Moore in Round 1. They could hang to round 2 and select from James Washington (would be my choice), Cain from Clemson, Hamilton PSU or Anthony Miller Memphis or Donte Pettis. Frankly would not be opposed to seeing them take a chance on a kid like Foutain from N Iowa and land 2 WRs.

    • Jess Haynie

      Thanks for reading!

  • Russ_Te

    Aikman remarks on Dez and Dak;

    “Take Dez out of the picture. If I was a quarterback, I’d expect a
    receiver to run the route the way it’s supposed to be run and be where
    he’s supposed to be. Whether I have Brett Favre as my quarterback or
    someone who’s able to improvise and run around is irrelevant. If you’re
    going to have a successful passing game, you have to have receivers who
    understand how to run routes, how to beat defenders, how to win
    one-on-one matchups and how to do it within the framework of what the
    design of the route is.”

    https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-cowboys/cowboys/2018/04/16/troy-aikman-no-1-factor-will-determine-whether-dez-bryant-succeeds-without-cowboys

    • Jess Haynie

      Bad enough when a HOF QB says it. Even worse when fellow receivers like Shannon Sharpe are calling Dez out for his lack of technical skills. I wish the fans would get on board with what most of the football community seems to get.

  • Russ_Te

    All I want for camp is a fast WR… ;^)

  • Russ_Te

    2 project WR’s down this draft who ran 4.3 at the combine. Make sure to take one of those. With Dez out it’s probably WR in the first also. It has to be a guy who can beat NFL corners. Don’t f*ck it up…

  • Russ_Te

    Williams got reps while Butler sat. Will not be surprised if he has a big year in AZ.

  • Sean Grubbs

    Hey Jesse, I was really interested in
    reading this article in the beginning …You wrote more about 2 college players in your article than 2 guys already on the team that were not even given a chance to shine last year! Give some props and a little tip of the hat to Switzer & Brown. The team hasn’t even touched the tip of the iceberg on what those 2 can and can not do on the football field. Your talking about next year /the future (2019) with a draft pick ?? THAT’S foolish!! You be lucky if you could tell me 4 = #1 draft picks at WR that have made an impact in their 1st year in the NFL and are still dominating now ( last 10 years of #1 WR draft picks)

    • Jess Haynie

      Appreciate you reading commenting, Sean. But let’s think about what you said for a minute. On the one hand, you’re telling me that it’s foolish to hope in 1st-round draft picks at receiver. You’re right that the history hasn’t been good lately.

      But on the other hand, you’re telling me that I should put my faith in Switzer (4th round) and Brown (7th round). If first-round talents haven’t been working out, how much more likely is it that mid and late-round guys will?

      See the inconsistency in your logic?

      • Sean Grubbs

        Inconsistency in logic?! I just believe we need to make a solid pic at #19 on defense, preferably linebacker (God bless Jaylen and Sean but with injuries and future production, we are in real libo here) I just think #19 is really high for a wide receiver but then I guess we said that with Randy Moss a couple years ago. I don’t think any of them are the specimen he was!!!!! I was just saying I would have liked to have read a little bit more on other wide receivers already on the squad that were not even given a chance last year. They both were drafted for a reason… please don’t tell me we wasted a 4th round pick on a guy to receive kickoffs and punts! Ryan was explosive in college (esp. YAC) he lost reps to struggling Beasley for whatever reason. I wasn’t in the film room or on the practice field, maybe he just wasn’t getting the offense/playbook down?! Brown?? so what I have read he was drafted not only for his high ceiling but Zeke championing for him? For whatever reason our coaching staff didn’t make adjustments last year, made me want to throw up so many times. I just felt those two guys were drafted, they should have had more opportunities. T. Williams is a cap causality next year unless he finally shows up and truly balls out!!!

  • EverybodyTalks

    The knee-jerk reaction to the Dez cut is that the mocks are all saying WR in the first 2 rounds. I’m not so sure…maybe, maybe not. I would much rather see the Cowboys go with defensive picks. The first 3 picks being DT, LB and S. Before you say this is messed up, then let me say that we only need to the Smeagles and ask a couple of questions.
    Who was their “X” and how much of an impact was he? Were the WRs of the Eagles head-n-shoulders above the current Cowboys – Torry Smith/Mike Wallace vs. Deontae. Alshon Jeffreys vs. Hurns. Agholor vs. T-Will. I just don’t see it. So why are we in such a hurry to draft a WR? Most WRs never make an impact in their rookie year anyway.
    The reason to draft a WR should be more for next year than this year. Beasley’s contract is done after 2018 and T-Will’s dead money will be down significantly in 2019. I want to see what Sanjay Lal can do with a Noah Brown (Who has the Dez build) before we dismiss him. Hopefully, we can change it up with Switzer and Beasley out there together. Get them more involved.

    • Jess Haynie

      I wouldn’t call it a knee-jerk reaction given that most had Dallas taking a WR that high even before Dez was released. More may be leaning that way now, but it was already one of the leading projections.

  • Corey

    I agree that Dez wasn’t a good route runner and threw little fits on the sideline, but it would also have been nice if there had been a true no. 2 opposite him. Brice Butler was a joke. He did great in preseason, but then during the regular season he faded into the back ground. The same with Terrance Williams, that guy couldn’t catch anything. No wonder defenses tee’d off on Bryant, there wasn’t anyone on the other side to worry about

NFL Draft

Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts, a Pass Catching Theme Persists

John Williams

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Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts a Theme Persists

The Dallas Cowboys haven't played the 2018 NFL season yet, but that shouldn't stop us from looking ahead to the 2019 NFL Draft and seeing what players the team will have their eye on this fall.

With the NFL season fast approaching, that means the college football season is as well, and as we look through these mocks, perhaps you get an idea of whom to watch with a Cowboys perspective this fall.

I scoured the internet looking for the best and brightest minds and their "way too early 2019 mocks." As I perused the mocks, one thing was clear. Many of the national writers see the Dallas Cowboys going with an offensive pass catcher in the 2019 NFL Draft. Namely a TE.

TE Noah Fant, Iowa

Noah Fant, from the University of Iowa, will be a junior in his 2019 season and as a sophomore caught 30 passes for 494 yards (16.5 yards per reception) and 11 touchdowns. The receptions and yardage may not look all that impressive, but if we think about Iowa's offense in the Big 10, we can understand that he's not going to get many opportunities to catch the ball when the team is running it as often as they do.

In fact, the Hawkeyes ran the ball 10 more times per game than they threw it and their quarterback only completed - on average - 15 passes a game.

Fant accounted for 21% of the receiving yards on the season and 42% of the passing touchdowns. He was only 36 yards away from leading the team in receiving despite catching 21 fewer passes than leader Nick Easley. No other pass catcher for Iowa had more than four receiving touchdowns.

If there's something not to like at the moment about Fant, it's his size.

At the moment, College Football Reference has him listed at 232 pounds. There are running backs that weigh more than Fant does and he'll probably need to add about 10-20 pounds in the NFL to be an effective in-line blocker.

Mocked to the Dallas Cowboys by Dane Brugler of The Draft Show on DallasCowboys.com. In a mock draft he did for Sports Day DFW and the Dallas Morning News, he had this to say.

"It is now the post-Witten era in Dallas and unless a tight end on the roster emerges this season, the position could be high on the wish list next offseason. His athleticism makes Fant an appealing up-and-coming prospect."

Dane Brugler - Sports Day DFW, Dallas Morning News

Eric Galko of The Sporting News selected the Iowa tight end to the Cowboys as well, seeing him as a special prospect that has the chance to fill the shoes of Jason Witten.

Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington also had Noah Fant to the Cowboys, thinking they are in need of a Jason Witten replacement.

DE Austin Bryant, Clemson

Depending on what Dallas can get out of Right Defensive Ends Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong, and Charles Tapper, it could have the Cowboys taking a defensive end in the first round for the second time in three years.

Will Brinson's mock doesn't offer much analysis on Bryant, mostly saying that Clemson is going to be good. But here's what Draftek.com's Brett Clancy, who covers the 49ers, had to say about Bryant:

"Clemson's Austin Bryant is the 4th EDGE off the board in this mock and 2nd from his school, but he's still well worth a mid-round pick. Bryant broke out with 8.5 sacks as a junior last year and many thought he'd go pro. I like Bryant's move to stay in school and refine his game, specifically growing a repertoire of pass rush moves to complement his strong edge-setting ability."

Brett Clancy - Draftek.com

Bryant was amazingly disruptive for the Clemson Tigers as a junior, racking up 50 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks. At 6-5 265, he could come in and play right defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys on day one.

DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama

We know that the Dallas Cowboys have an affinity for Power 5 prospects and Jason Garrett goes back with Nick Saban.

Despite that relationship, it hasn't led to many Alabama players being selected by the Dallas Cowboys. Perhaps, that should tell us something.

One other factor that could be in play with Davis is dependent upon who the defensive coordinator is in 2019. We all know that Rod Marinelli doesn't place premium draft value on defensive tackles, but prefers to find diamonds in the rough to develop.

If Kris Richard takes over as the defensive coordinator in 2019, the story could be a bit different. Seattle, with Richard at the defensive helm, selected defensive tackles in the second round of the 2016 and 2017 NFL Drafts.

If the Dallas Cowboys are going to spend a first on a defensive tackle, this is the guy to do it on.

He was highly productive as a sophomore for the Crimson Tide, racking up 69 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He also had one interception that was returned for 19 yards. At 6-7 306 pounds, he has the size and frame to be an immediate impact player on the Dallas Cowboys interior.

If the Dallas Cowboys choose not to resign David Irving in the 2018 offseason and Maliek Collins doesn't take a step forward, then Davis becomes a real possibility.

Here's what Draftek's Cowboys analyst had to say about Raekwon Davis.

"Alabama's Raekwon Davis has played both DT and DE in the Crimson Tide's 3-man line. He can maintain his gaps against the run when needed, but his primary skill set is using his long arms and strong lower body to use a variety of pass rush moves to win with power and speed. 

"One red flag on Davis happened 8/27/17: he was struck in the leg by a stray bullet during the wee hours of Sunday morning at a Tuscaloosa bar (Bar 17) where several shootings have occurred over the past few years. Despite HC Jason Garrett's affinity for Nick Saban coached players, this incident might remove him from the Dallas board."

Long Ball - Dratek.com

Interestingly, Draftek did a second round in this mock and they sent Boston College Safety Lukas Denis to the Dallas Cowboys.

S Jaquan Johnson, Miami

Speaking of safeties, Dan Kadar over at SBNation sent one to the Dallas Cowboys in the form of Jaquan Johnson.

Johnson, from the University of Miami, was very productive in his junior season for the Hurricanes, racking up 96 total tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack and four interceptions. He returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown.

Here are Kadar's thoughts on the second team All-ACC player:

"There was a lot of talk during the draft that the Cowboys were in talks to trade for Earl Thomas. If they want to address safety next draft, Johnson was a second-team all-conference player who some thought would go pro."

Dan Kadar - SB Nation

Obviously, this pick will depend on what happens with Earl Thomas over the next nine months and the development of Xavier Woods, but Johnson will be a name to watch for teams that need a safety.

Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts a Theme Persists 2

Miami Hurricanes WR Ahmmon Richards

WR Ahmmon Richards, Miami

Another Hurricane to have on your NFL Draft radars is Wide Receiver Ahmmon Richard, who is going into his junior season at Miami.

The Dallas Cowboys have begun the process of overhauling their wide receiver corp with the departures of Dez Bryant and Brice Butler in the 2018 offseason. In 2019, it's likely that Terrance Williams (contract) and Cole Beasley (age) could be next to go.

That would leave them with Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Deonte Thompson, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson as their WR depth chart. It's certainly a solid group, but adding a talent like Richards could help.

The Draft Wire's Luke Easterling believes, "Richards would be another great addition with impressive size and speed."

In two seasons at Miami, Richards has averaged 18.8 yards per reception, and 68.65 yards per game. He's got deep-threat ability which would combine well with Gallup and Hurns.

WR Collin Johnson, Texas

If Richards doesn't do it for you, then lets head a couple of hours south of Dallas to the University of Texas and Wide Receiver Collin Johnson.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has the Dallas Cowboys going with the junior wide receiver and had this to say:

"The Dallas Cowboys made interesting moves at wide receiver in the 2018 draft—trading Ryan Switzer to Oakland, acquiring Tavon Austin from Los Angeles, not selecting a receiver early—and will head into the upcoming season with a need for a playmaker down the field. Texas' Collin Johnson at 6'6" can be the downfield weapon and red-zone nightmare the Cowboys so badly want.

"Johnson does need to improve upon his production from the last two seasons and prove to scouts he can run well enough to separate from NFL defenders, but his size and hands are already getting buzzed about as teams prepare for the upcoming college season."

Matt Miller - Bleacher Report

I'll agree with Miller that Johnson will need to increase upon his production. Some believe that the quarterback limitations in Austin have been a factor, but at the moment, I'm leery of taking a wide receiver from the Big 12 that doesn't have excellent production in the first round of the draft.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

It's obvious from these mock drafts that analysts see the Dallas Cowboys continuing to invest in pass catchers for their offense and that is a reasonable thought.

Obviously, a lot will change between now and next April when the Dallas Cowboys go on the clock, but this gives us a bit of insight on who to watch in this upcoming college football season.

What names will you be watching in college football this season?



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NFL Draft

Does Marquez White Assault Charge Alter Cowboys Plan in Supplemental Draft?

Sean Martin

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Does Marquez White Assault Charge Alter Cowboys Plan in Supplemental Draft?

Last night, it was reported that Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Marquez White has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The incident comes from a traffic confrontation that took place back in October, where White -- according to his camp -- was justified in drawing his weapon for self-defense.

A promising young player that stuck on the Cowboys practice squad in his rookie season, the sixth round pick doesn't need this case hanging over his head as training camp approaches. When considering the timing up against this week's supplemental draft, and the rare crop of defensive back talent available in it, White could soon be fighting for relevance on the Cowboys roster.

Becoming complacent in building one of the best young secondaries in the league won't be an issue for the Cowboys under new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard. The Cowboys were relying on White to be a depth option behind projected starters Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Jourdan Lewis.

White's spot on the depth chart may very well hold up, but by the end of the week he could also have added competition in Adonis Alexander or Sam Beal.

Respectively, the former Virginia Tech and Western Michigan cornerbacks are two of the most talented supplemental prospects to enter the draft in years -- both likely to be the first players drafted since 2015.

Alexander and Beal are also joined by Mississippi State Safety Brandon Bryant as another backup option for Dallas.

Supplemental Draft: CB Adonis Alexander A Depth Option for Cowboys? 1

A lengthy cornerback with the toughness to play on the boundary, Alexander is a similar player to White, and one that Richard should love for his physical traits. Whether or not this natural skill outweighs some maturity issues that saw Alexander fall from freshman starter to suspended at VT will determine if the Cowboys feel comfortable sending away a 2019 draft pick for his services.

Where Alexander's career leaves his arrow trending downward on the eve of the supplemental draft, Beal is a rising prospect that some are calling the best to ever enter this draft.

An all-conference cornerback as a Junior out of Western Michigan, Beal improved with each passing college season, determined to finish out his degree along the way. However, once Beal's eligibility for his Senior season was called into question, the feisty 6'1" CB decided to turn towards the NFL.

Beal's professional football faith is now in the hands of any team that's done their homework on him. Projected to be taken as early as the third round, teams impressed by Beal's tape could be giving away a premium pick in next year's draft to add him just before training camp.

Should this team be the Cowboys, Beal's presence would put more than just White on notice. The Cowboys are also expecting corners like Duke Thomas and Kam Kelly to fight for roster spots. In a perfect world, say the one the Cowboys were living in yesterday before this White news broke, Thomas or Kelly could replace White on the practice squad as the Florida State product took another jump in Oxnard.

Cowboys CB Marquez White Could Emerge in 2018

Dallas Cowboys CB Marquez White

As I've written before though, teams must be relentless in their search for talent. The Cowboys have drafted well, but passed on big name free agents in recent years. The result is a young roster full of potential and ready to compete.

If either Adonis Alexander, Sam Beal, or even Brandon Bryant help them do so this year, we could be right here talking about a new Cowboys rookie in the middle of July. Marquez White would be happy to see this talk overshadow his legal situation for the moment.

This won't be the case when he's competing against another player that will likely cost the Cowboys more than the sixth round pick they invested in him two years ago.

Tell us what you think about "Does Marquez White Assault Charge Alter Cowboys Plan in Supplemental Draft?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

Brian Martin

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Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

You may not be aware or maybe you've simply forgotten, but the Dallas Cowboys have struggled drafting players in the 2nd-round who can come in and contribute. Typically players drafted this highly are not only immediate contributors as a rookie, but are cornerstone players for years to come. That hasn't been the case for the Cowboys.

I don't know where you stand, but I was beginning to think the Dallas Cowboys were cursed with their 2nd-round draft picks. I know this was an area where they would gamble on players for some reason or another, but unfortunately it never really paid off. Hopefully, things are changing for the better.

Let's take a look back at past drafts to see what I'm talking about.

Past 2nd-Round Draft Picks Dating Back to 2006:

2018 Connor Williams
2017 Chidobe Awuzie
2016 Jaylon Smith
2015 Randy Gregory
2014 DeMarcus Lawrence
2013 Gavin Escobar
2012 (no selection) used to trade for Morris Claiborne
2011 Bruce Carter
2010 Sean Lee
2009 (no selection) traded out of 2nd-round
2008 Martellus Bennett
2007 (no selection) used to trade back into 1st for Anthony Spencer
2006 Anthony Fasano

You may be wondering why I decided to start all the way back in 2006. Well, I believe that's when the 2nd-round draft picks curse started for the Dallas Cowboys.

Anthony Fasano ended up having a solid career in the NFL, but he never lived up to his draft status as a former 2nd-round draft pick. The same can be said for Martellus Bennett, Gavin Escobar, and Bruce Carter. Shed a tear for them if you want, but I'd put them in the "bust" category.

Sean Lee

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

The sad truth is, Sean Lee is the only 2nd-round draft pick on this list to ever see a second contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Although, I guess you can include DeMarcus Lawrence since he will be playing under the franchise tag in 2018. But, that's still not a very good hit percentage in the 2nd-round for more than a decade. Luckily, it looks as if things are changing.

DeMarcus Lawrence might end up being another "hit" for the Cowboys. It may have taken him four years to reach his potential, but there's no denying how dominant he was last season. If he can maintain that dominance this season, he could be looking at a big payday from the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys took a risk on the next two players they drafted after D-Law. They knew Randy Gregory had his off the field issues, but were willing to take a chance on his talent in the 2nd-round. That has yet to pay off, but Gregory has a chance to rebound now that it looks as if he has his life back in order.

Jaylon Smith

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys took another risk in the following draft when they drafted Jaylon Smith. No one knew if he would ever be able to play again after the devastating knee injury he sustained in his final collegiate game, but it's looking as if he could make a full recovery and return to his pre-injury form. Year 3 will be big for him, but he could end up being an absolute steal.

Fortunately, the Cowboys 2017 and 2018 2nd-round draft picks (Chidobe Awuzie and Connor Williams) look to be cornerstone players for years to come. That's what you're looking for in players drafted this highly.

I say all of this because it's really looking like the Dallas Cowboys have finally broken their 2nd-round curse. Maybe it's a change in draft philosophy or maybe it's because Will McClay's voice carries more weight in the draft room, but it's definitely good news for the future of the franchise. Hopefully it continues.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys 2nd-round curse has ended?



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