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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Breakdown: Offensive Edition

Brian Martin

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Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, Tony Romo

The 2016 NFL Draft is just a few weeks away and still we as fans really have no clue as to which direction the Cowboys may choose to go with each of their nine draft picks. It's a dilemma that we have to face every year and this year is no exception.

As owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones is very cryptic in his interviews when discussing what draft prospects they may be interested in or what positions they might be targeting.

Head coach Jason Garrett has learned from the master and is no more helpful than Jones. The term "blowing smoke" is usually thrown around this time of year and both Garrett and Jones could hold a clinic about how to master the art.

So, that leaves it up to us, as fans, to try to analyze everything we can with what we have at our disposal.

What we have to do is pay close attention to who the Cowboys are putting through private workouts and what prospects are announced as taking part in the 30 pre-draft visits that are allowed by the league.

Dallas Day is another tool we as fans could use. Unfortunately, due to the geographical nature that the team has to abide by, only local prospects that grew up in the area or played their collegiate careers in the area are allowed to participate. It's a little more difficult to gauge the Cowboys interest level in these prospects.

These are about the only tools at our disposal that we can use to get any indication of which prospects might have piqued the interest of the Cowboys and also what positions that they may be paying extra close attention to.

I don't know about you, but I would like to know what prospects might be joining the roster for the 2016 season and I think one of the best ways to figure that out is to determine where the Cowboys need the most help.

Let's take a look at the Dallas Cowboys current roster and try to get a better understanding of what positions they may be focusing on.

Quarterback:

Tony Romo, Kellen Moore, Jameill Showers

Tony Romo is without a doubt the starting QB for the Cowboys and the hope is that he can remain so for several more years.

Unfortunately, due to his recent health issues, the Cowboys are going to turn over every rock in order to improve the backup quarterback position that is currently being held down by Kellen Moore.

Moore seems to have the organizations trust to backup Romo in 2016, but if the Cowboys invest highly in a rookie QB he may become expendable.

Jameill Showers showed something last preseason that might be worth developing, but his best bet to make the team might be through special teams.

The Cowboys will address the position at some point in the draft, but your guess is as good as mine as to when and where.

My pick: Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech (6th round)

Running back:

Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris, Lance Dunbar, Rod Smith, Ben Malena

If you look at the Cowboys depth chart at RB, it would seem as if the top three are secure, but I wouldn't put anything in ink as of yet.

McFadden and Morris are expected to share the majority of caries in 2016, but beyond that everything is up in the air.

Dunbar in particular has proven that he can be a weapon, but due to his injury history and the fact he is still not recovered from a major knee injury means his status with the team is in question. I personally wouldn't be surprised if he has to miss the first six weeks of the season because he has to start on the physically unable to perform list (PUP).

Both Smith and Malena are long shots to make the team, especially since the Cowboys are almost definitely going to draft a RB at some point.

I expect McFadden, Morris, and a rookie RB to be the top three running backs to start season in 2016.

My pick: Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech (3rd round)

Wide receiver:

Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Devin Street, Lucky Whitehead, Vince Mayle, Rodney Smith

Dez BryantTerrance Williams, and Cole Beasley are the only WRs that should feel as if their roster spots are secure.

Street has shown virtually nothing that should guarantee that he should stick around and Whitehead is limited to what he can do offensively because of his size.

The Cowboys have shown an interest in upgrading the position after the overall poor play in 2015 and I suspect they will address it at some point in the draft.

My pick: Michael Thomas, Ohio State (2nd round)

Tight end:

Jason Witten, James Hanna, Geoff Swaim, Gavin Escobar

No one is unseating Witten, but if he does have to miss time due to an injury there is virtually no one else on the roster to step up and fill that role.

Hanna was brought back to the team because of his blocking capabilities, but he's not really a receiving threat.

Swaim didn't have much of a role in his rookie season and is an unknown at this point, while Escobar will be lucky to suit up for the Cowboys ever again.

I can see the Cowboys adding another tight end in the middle rounds to groom as Witten's replacement.

My pick: Nick Vannett, Ohio State (4th round)

Tackle:

Tyron Smith, Doug Free, Chaz Green, Charles Brown, Justin Renfrow

Tyron Smith and Doug Free return for 2016 to be the bookends of the Cowboys talented offensive line.

The Cowboys hope that Chaz Green can push Free for the starting right tackle position, but if nothing else he could end up being the swing tackle.

Brown was the swing tackle in 2015 and will more than likely have to beat out Green to earn a roster spot. The same can be probably be said for Renfrow.

The Cowboys seem set at this position so I don't think they will use a draft pick to add depth, unless someone falls in the draft and it is to good of a deal to pass up.

Guard:

Zack Martin, La'el Collins, Ronald Leary, Jared Smith

Martin and Collins are the starting offensive guards, and I don't see any reason why that will change.

Leary provides valuable depth at either guard position, but the Cowboys could look to trade him if there is a team that's interested in obtaining his services.

The Cowboys would probably prefer someone more versatile than Leary that could play both center and guard.

My pick: Joe Thuney, NC State (6th round)

Center:

Travis Frederick, Joe Looney

Travis Frederick is the unquestioned starter for the Cowboys young talented offensive line, but the depth behind him really leaves him as the only valuable option to play the position.

The Cowboys tried to address the backup center position by signing Joe Looney in the off-season. Looney can play both center and guard, but Dallas may decide to try to find a better prospect through the draft.

My pick: Joe Thuney, NC State (6th round)

*Thuney played every position along the offensive line at NC State, hence the repeat pick.

Well, there you have it.

Based on the Cowboys depth chart breakdown you can see for yourself what positions the team may be more focused on than others and how they could possibly address the position through the draft.

Please feel free to leave your own personal thoughts and opinions in the comments section below so we can discuss this topic further.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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8 Comments
  • George Johnson

    You say Kellen Moore could become expendable if a QB is drafted. I am a big K Moore fan and I tend to disagree. I don't see any QB in the draft that would likely beat out K Moore for the 2nd team QB position in 2016. Maybe if there is a franchise type QB in the draft who is able to develop and learn real fast. I don't think there is a franchise type QB in the draft. A rookie QB has to go through a big adjustment/learning period when first coming into the NFL. K Moore has four years NFL experience, now has some starting experience, has improved each year in the NFL, has worked with S Linehan for two plus years and has his confidence, knows the Dallas offense/playbook real well, and is likely to improve/correct his deficiencies from 2015 since these deficiencies were areas in which K Moore has always excelled. Of course the rookie QB could be assigned the 2nd team position with no competition with K Moore. However this would be awkward for the coaches if I am correct and K Moore is the better QB in 2016. It wouldn't surprise me that K Moore outplays or plays as well as T Romo in 2016 preseason games. If they draft a QB they are likely to keep three QBs on the 53 man roster; Tony Romo, Kellen Moore and the drafted QB.

    • Brian Martin

      I think it comes down to how many QB's the Cowboys decide to carry on the roster. If they draft a rookie high and only carry two QB's I think that would make Kellen Moore expendable. Like you, I like Kellen Moore and value his experience in Scott Linehan's offense. I don't see a scenario where he plays as well or outplays Romo. Also, the fact that they showed interest in signing an FA QB makes me question how much faith they have been Moore.

      • Ronald Dulaney

        But they made no offers to the free agent QBs they were supposedly " interested in". Could have just been another ruse in the draft circus. Altho the fact that KMoore doubled his qbr in the only two games he prepared for and started is promising, basically he is still pretty much an unknown quantity. If he continues to improve at even half that rate of improvement, he should come out the backup at the end of preseason. But we'll see.

        • Brian Martin

          Most of the backup QB candidates the Cowboys rumored to be interested in signed contracts relatively quickly once free agency opened up. I personally don't have a problem with Kellen Moore has a backup QB for the Cowboys, but like you mentioned he is still somewhat an unknown commodity at this point.I just wish he was a little bit more proven, that way we could all feel a little bit more comfortable with the backup QB situation for the 2016 season.

          • George Johnson

            That is why they need to bring in an experienced QB to compete with K Moore for the 2nd team QB position.

      • George Johnson

        Kellen developed a reputation for his preseason play until 2015. He was nicknamed Mr August because of his good play in preseason games in Detroit. He outplayed the other QBs including M Stafford in two preseasons but was mostly playing at third team. He could do the same thing in Dallas in preseason including playing better or as well as T Romo. He should be riding high and confident going into 2016.

    • Jess Haynie

      "K Moore has four years NFL experience, now has some starting experience, has improved each year in the NFL" "…is likely to improve/correct his deficiencies from 2015 since these deficiencies were areas in which K Moore has always excelled." He hasn't played a snap until 2015, so how can you say he's improved every year? Also, how can you say he's "always excelled" at something when the only proof from real NFL action is that he's a turnover machine? I get that you love the guy, George, but let's not lose our heads.

      • George Johnson

        Jess Haynie: I have watched all his preseason and season games. I believe my statements are correct and I try to be objective. I agree it is hard to compare 2015 to the other three years since he only played preseason in the other three years. He did improve in his preseason games each year in the NFL. His first year (2012) he was okay but nothing outstanding. His second year (2013) he was a lot better and much more confident. Some people thought he had improved his arm strength some. In 2013 he got to substitute for Hill at 2nd team against New England and had a high QB rating and threw two touchdowns with no interceptions. Some sports writer said he proved he could play in the NFL with this game. In 2014 he had his best preseason with a 108 QB rating and three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Detroit coach was impressed and said K Moore plays consistently with composure and moxie. In 2015 K Moore competed with Orlovsky for the 2nd team QB position but for some reason had one game at 2nd team and did not do that well while Orlovsky had two games at 2nd team and played really well. Detroit decided they could only afford to keep two QBs on the 53 man roster but wanted to sign K Moore to the practice squad but he signed with Dallas instead. In 2015 with Dallas he actually played fairly well considering it was his first time against first team defenses and with limited reps. S Linehan thought he played pretty well, move the ball but made some mistakes also. Had he made a few better plays and less mistakes he could have won one game and possibly two. He is actually close with more experience/reps to being able to win some games and have good QB stats. You said he was a turnover machine. He had seven interceptions. Three were because he did not account for the safety coming over not because of a weak arm. This is uncharacteristic for K Moore. He almost set a new four year record for fewest interceptions in the NCAA. This is a deficiency he is likely to improve/correct. He had one interception where he was not quite accurate enough and the ball hit the receivers arm and bounced in the air. Again this is uncharacteristic for K Moore since he is known for being accurate. He had one interception which was a hail merry at the end of the game so doesn't mean anything. I don't remember the other two interceptions but I don't remember any interceptions because of a weak arm, which is a good sign for K Moore's future.

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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