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Cowboys bucking mediocre second-round draft history

The of the has been historically unkind to the Cowboys. From 1961-2019 only nine of their 64 picks in the second round have made any significant impact during their time in Dallas. That's a trend the to reverse.

The picks in this round from the last three years are still on the roster, but only (2020) is a starter. The jury is still out on (2021) and (2022).

But you have to go all the way back to 2014 to find a second-round pick still on the roster — or who has even lasted beyond four years. was followed in successive years by , , , , and Trysten Hill.

All five are on other NFL rosters and only Gregory and Smith showed flashes of being solid picks but eventually fizzled out. But it isn't like the Cowboys of the 21st Century have made the best of picks in the second round.

Very Few Picks Paid Off

Between 2000-2013 the Cowboys made 14 picks in the second round. Only Sean Lee (2010) and Julius Jones (2004) had impactful careers in Dallas. Al Johnson (2003) had two years as a starting center and was done after that.

Does Sean Lee Have Enough Left to Contribute Big in 2020?

That same time frame is littered with some very bad choices: Dwayne Goodrich (2000), Quincy Carter (2001), Antonio Bryant (2002). Then there was the failed run of selecting tight ends in the second round: Anthony Fasano (2006), Martellus Bennett (2008) and Gavin Escobar (2013).

The 1990s saw the Cowboys select three solid players in the second round — Flozell Adams (1998), Larry Allen (1994), and (1992) — along with a few good backups. Some of the notable second rounders taken in the 1980s include: Ken Norton Jr. (1988) and Steve Wisniewski (1989).

Wisniewski was immediately traded during the draft so that Dallas could select Daryl Johnston just 10 picks later in the second round. That might be the best second round in Cowboys history.

Newhouse Tops The 1970s Picks

The late 70s saw two interesting picks — although neither player made that much of an impact. In 1978 Dallas took Todd Christensen in the second round. But he got injured, missed an entire season, and was waived at the end of training camp in 1979 before going to have a great career with the Raiders.

In 1977, Dallas selected Gina Carano's dad. Glenn Carano did manage to go 1-0 as a starter for the Cowboys in his six years in Dallas behind and . His 37-13 victory over the Baltimore Colts on Dec. 6, 1981 was highlighted by throwing for more yards (59) than Carano (51) did.

The Cowboys best second round pick of the 1970s came in 1972 when they selected . His 12-year career was overshadowed by and , but the Cowboys got a great player that year.

Renfro Was Best Of 1960s Class

The Cowboys only had seven total second round picks in the 1960s. The cream of that small crop was clearly Mel Renfro in 1964. All he did was have a Hall of Fame career over 14 seasons.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Franchise Interceptions Leader Mel Renfro Takes #20

Whoever Dallas picks in the second round this year, they need to be on the field and contributing. Which means the Cowboys' war room needs to buck the franchise's history in the second round.

Dallas' all-time second-round picks:

1961 E. J. Holub Center
1962 Sonny Gibbs Quarterback
1963 No Pick
1964 Mel Renfro
1965 Malcolm Walker Center
1966 Willie Townes
1967 No Pick
1968 Dave McDaniels Wide Receiver
1969 Richmond Flowers Safety
1970 Bob Asher Offensive ; Margene Adkins Wide Receiver
1971 Ike Thomas Cornerback
1972 Robert Newhouse Fullback; John Babinecz ; Charles McKee Wide Receiver
1973 Golden Richards Wide Receiver
1974 No Pick
1975 Burton Lawless Guard
1976 Jim Jensen Running Back; Jim Eidson Guard
1977 Glenn Carano Quarterback
1978 Todd Christensen Tight End
1979 Aaron Mitchell
1980 No Pick
1981 Doug Donley Wide Receiver
1982 Jeff Rohrer Linebacker
1983 Michael Walter Linebacker
1984 Victor Scott Defensive Back
1985 Jesse Penn Linebacker
1986 Darryl Clack Running Back
1987 Ron Francis Cornerback
1988 Ken Norton Jr. Linebacker
1989 Steve Wisniewski Guard; Daryl Johnston Fullback
1990 Alexander Wright Wide Receiver
1991 Linebacker
1992 Jimmy Smith Wide Receiver; Darren Woodson Safety
1993 Wide Receiver; Darrin Smith Linebacker
1994 Larry Allen Guard
1995 Sherman Williams Running Back; Kendell Watkins Tight End; Shane Hannah Guard
1996 Kavika Pittman ; Randall Godfrey Linebacker
1997 No Pick
1998 Flozell Adams Offensive Tackle
1999 Solomon Page Guard
2000 Dwayne Goodrich Cornerback
2001 Quincy Carter Quarterback; Tony Dixon Safety
2002 Center; Antonio Bryant Wide Receiver
2003 Al Johnson Center
2004 Julius Jones Running Back; Jacob Rogers Offensive Tackle
2005 Linebacker
2006 Anthony Fasano Tight End
2007 No Pick
2008 Martellus Bennett Tight End
2009 No Pick
2010 Sean Lee Linebacker
2011 Linebacker
2012 No Pick
2013 Gavin Escobar Tight End
2014 DeMarcus Lawrence Defensive End
2015 Randy Gregory Defensive End
2016 Jaylon Smith Linebacker
2017 Chidobe Awuzie Cornerback
2018 Connor Williams Guard
2019 Trysten Hill
2020 Trevon Diggs Cornerback
2021 Kelvin Joseph Cornerback
2022 Sam Williams Defensive 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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