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Dallas Cowboys Stick To Plan, But Did They Succeed?

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This was one of the most gut wrenching drafts for me to watch. Mainly because there was plenty of opportunities for JJ and the Cowboys to do as they have done in years past, and completely deviate from the plan, and try to make a splash.

Now I know everyone wanted to see the Cowboys draft a player or players that would have an immediate impact in one or more of the positions of need. I too would have loved to see them land a top notch Safety or O- Lineman to compete for a starting spot. However by the time the Cowboys went on the clock, all of those players were gone. It was at that particular point in time that my heart began to race, for this is the exact spot in years past when management has overreacted and reached for someone. This year however it was different, Jerry trusted his scouting department, and trusted their board.

The Dallas Cowboy scouting department felt that there was a handful of players that may be available to them with the 51st pick that held 1st round talent, but after that you could throw a blanket over the rest. Simply meaning once the first rounders were gone everyone else was of equal talent. The 2009 NFL draft then became more about "value" than "name".

As Cowboy fans we have spent much of our time since Jerry took the rains of the team, being upset that they could not separate the difference between a "name" and an actual "football player".

The verdict on this draft will not be known for at least 3 years. As the draft began to unfold I realized what was happening and could not believe how stupid I was at not figuring out their plan before hand. The plan was a simple one, but like many of you I had become so mesmerized by what positions needed upgrading, that I completely lost focus about what the true intentions of the draft are. The same things I have for years blasted Jerry for doing I was now doing. The art of drafting college players to become NFL players, is an art, and an art not many have had a lot of success doing. Those who have had success will all say that "if you draft out of need you are going to fail, but if you trust your board and take the best available talent that fits your scheme then you are going to succeed."

In 2008 the Dallas Cowboys had 3 major areas of concern; (1) Special teams (this team lost at least 3 games last year due to there piss poor kick coverage) (2) Secondary (the corner play last year was better, but the lack of a ball hawking safety hurts.) (3) O-Line depth (as you all remember when Kosier went down last year so did the play of this unit)

When the Cowboys time on the clock came, and Louis Delma, Patrick Chung, Darcel Mcbath, Eric Wood, and Max Unger were gone, the Cowboys made a move to collect another draft pick. If you look at the needs of this team, which of the three areas noted could they have the most positive effect on in this draft? SPECIAL TEAMS! This unit has been horrific for several years now, and in dire need of drastic changes. This unit was slow, old, and very poorly coached. The Cowboys took care of the coaching side of things with the hiring of Joe D, and with the exception of the 101st pick (Stephen McGee) they totally revamped the special teams unit. Every single player they drafted this past weekend can be immediate players!

Sometimes in life what we think we want is not necessarily what we need. If this special teams unit plays to there capabilities this year they will impact this team far more than ANY OTHER PLAYER THAT WAS AVAILABLE AT 51. There is no one player that could have made the Cowboys 12-4 last year! but with the load they pulled yesterday this unit could have!

Welcome to the team gentlemen!


Jason Williams - ILB - Western Illinois

Robert Brewster - T/G - Ball State

Stephen McGee - QB - Texas A&M

Victor Butler - OLB - Oregon State

Brandon Williams - OLB - Texas Tech

DeAngelo Smith - CB - Cincinnati

Michael Hamlin - S - Clemson

David Buehler - K - USC

Stephen Hodge - S - TCU

John Phillips - TE - Virginia

Mike Mickens - CB - Cincinnati

Manuel Johnson - WR - Oklahoma



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7 Comments
  • Shaun Wellman

    Very nice article Philip, and I could’nt agree with you more.

    We do have a nice collection of starters, but it was starting to look like J.J. had forgotten that football teams are built from the bottom of the roster up.

    All but 2 of “The Dirty Dozen” are excellent special teamers, and this draft has now turned the bottom part of this roster on it’s ear. Very few of our starters play special teams, and the guys at the bottom of the roster seem more concerned with getting their shot to start than playing their hardest and contributing anywhere(special teams) they can.

    I love this draft and what it represents. The message sent to the team is very clear. The days of high priced underachieving back-ups are going to soon be over.

    This teams championship window had seemed like it would soon be closed but with this stout injection of hungry role players the Cowboys have followed the lead of modern era champs like the Patriots and Steelers. Both of those teams, when at their best have been chocked full of overachieving role players.

    Good job J.J. of shaking the S__T out of the bottom of this roster. Out with the overpriced underachieving old and in with some younger, cheaper, overachieving new.

    Hopefully we will be hearing these guys names called every game after a big time play on special teams, and watch out for a very different looking defensive backfield sometime either mid to late season.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ bags030404

    Thanks for the kind words Shaun. It took me longer than it should have to figure out what they were doing, but I am ecstatic with what they did.

  • Joe C

    Was just watching SC and they were giving “grades”, more like Mel Kiper Jr, was, for each division, and they gave Dallas a D for choosing Jason Williams and also not picking in the 1rst round. Obviously they don’t realize what we did and how much talent we actually picked up, but its whatever soon enough they will finally realize that we had an excellent draft this year.

    I’m already stoked, no I have been stocked about this season for a long time now, but this just puts icing on the cake.

    HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS!

  • Eric

    I’m torn about the draft. They did address most of their needs (LB, DB, OL, backup QB, WR) but not sure they picked the players in the best order or got best value.

    For example the Jason Williams pick. I’m not a college football expert but from what I read he was ranked around the 10th best LB and around 100-something pick, yet the Cowboys seemed to reach for him with the 69th pick. Seems like they could’ve picked a top 5 safety like Rashad Johnson, or someone with punt returning abilities, and still got Jason Williams later.

    Special teams was bad last year but don’t believe you should draft for special teams alone. I think you should draft for players that can competeplay on the regular roster AND also contribute to special teams as an added value.

    The biggest shock of the draft was the kicker in the 5th round. Are they really going to have 3 kickers (including the punter) active on game day? Or is this just a training camp competition thing? Are they thinking of trading Folk?

    I’m also surprised they didn’t try to make a move to trade picks this year for more picks next year. Seems they went the quantity over quality route and hope it promotes competition during training camp.

    Bottom line, it will be a few years before we know the true impact of these players, so I’ll hold judgement. Like you, I just have to trust that the scouting department knows what they are doing. It looked like they did with the 2008 draft, but this one on the surface feels more like the below medicre 2006 draft.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ TT

    Eric, I understand your inclination to feel this was correctly graded by dipschtick Kiper at a D, but you’ve got too look deeper into it to understand what they were doing.

    1. First and foremost they wanted guys with good motors and talent to add some competition to the bottom of the roster.

    2. They chose guys who fit their system above guys that were nationally ranked.

    I’m actually encouraged by the moves they made because they did what every team preaches about doing on draft day … sticking with your board. They spend weeks putting together a board based on years worth of scouting, yet they don’t usually follow what they have and end up with many names that are never heard from again.

    Getting Jason Williams at 69 might have been reaching a little, but the guy has good upside and will contribute right away on special teams. The kicker, this is a guy who put on a show at the combine, for a kicker, with his speed and strength that beat out a lot of linebackers there. But his main feature? He can kick the hell out of a football. Nick Folk is an accurate kicker, and while he can make the 53 yard field goals, he can’t kickoff worth a damn, so keeping a kickoff specialist in Beuhler on gameday is a good idea for field position.

    I was upset myself seeing Rashad Johnson on the board at 69 and 75 while they picked someone else, but they had him going around 100 and stuck to it. They weren’t far off either as he went like 96 or so. Had he been there at 101, they’d have taken him because they liked him.

    It’s hard to remember that this team is pretty much set on the depth chart, and that they weren’t drafting to find starters for this year. They were drafting to find football players to compete in camps, and some of these guys have a shot at earning some real playing time this year.

    I personally rank this years draft class as a B/B+, but it’ll take a year for anyone to really see why.

  • Shaun Wellman

    Wade and Jerry knew that coaching alone wasn’t responsible for the poor performance on special teams over the last three years.

    The hiring of Joe D. is a good start, but I’m sure he got here and looked at tape and didn’t like what he had to work with.

    The great finds that the Cowboys have had in late rounds over the last several years are all major contributors or starters so they are all at the top of the roster. Just look at how many starters where drafted in the 4th round and later.

    The Cowboys have done so well at polishing these “Diamonds in the Rough” that they depleted the talent pool at the bottom of the roster.

    That is what the team had lost sight of. They have taken the approach that having one of the most talented starting lineups means that they have one of the most talented teams.

    The draft is intended to add talent to a TEAM. A TEAM consists of more than just the starters.
    You are not going find starters every year in the draft; at least not next years starters. Every year TOP teams churn up the bottom of their rosters and get the most out of those players.

    Most fair-weather fans pay most of their attention to offense, then after they see a pick six or a sack for a big loss they start paying alittle more attention to defense. During special teams play they’re in the john or getting a beer, and those are the guys who want to know why we did’nt draft our next superstar.

    Our special teams unit is full of guys that think they should be or could be starters, and thats all they care about. Look back at some game footage and watch the body language of our guys(Especially Pat Watkins & Barbie Carpenter) coming off the field after a coverage situation. Of course the guy or guys that make the tackle are excited, but look at the rest of them walking off, heads down, pouting because they’d rather be doing something else. Special teamers need to have a sense of comraderie with each other, like its them against the whole world, and I think a rookie class of late rounders will play like theres no tomorrow.

    A football game consists of THREE key phases, and winning 2 of the 3 usually wins you the ball game. Last year we lost at least 2 games when the offense and defense where good enough but the special teams gave the game away. I’d be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts we lost in that phase 10 to 12 times last year.

    I give this draft an A- because of the lack of production from Roy Williams last year,or otherwise I’d give an A.

  • http://www.grantbailoutplan.com/ Shaun Wellman

    Wade and Jerry knew that coaching alone wasn’t responsible for the poor performance on special teams over the last three years.

    The hiring of Joe D. is a good start, but I’m sure he got here and looked at tape and didn’t like what he had to work with.

    The great finds that the Cowboys have had in late rounds over the last several years are all major contributors or starters so they are all at the top of the roster. Just look at how many starters where drafted in the 4th round and later.

    The Cowboys have done so well at polishing these “Diamonds in the Rough” that they depleted the talent pool at the bottom of the roster.

    That is what the team had lost sight of. They have taken the approach that having one of the most talented starting lineups means that they have one of the most talented teams.

    The draft is intended to add talent to a TEAM. A TEAM consists of more than just the starters.
    You are not going find starters every year in the draft; at least not next years starters. Every year TOP teams churn up the bottom of their rosters and get the most out of those players.

    Most fair-weather fans pay most of their attention to offense, then after they see a pick six or a sack for a big loss they start paying alittle more attention to defense. During special teams play they’re in the john or getting a beer, and those are the guys who want to know why we did’nt draft our next superstar.

    Our special teams unit is full of guys that think they should be or could be starters, and thats all they care about. Look back at some game footage and watch the body language of our guys(Especially Pat Watkins & Barbie Carpenter) coming off the field after a coverage situation. Of course the guy or guys that make the tackle are excited, but look at the rest of them walking off, heads down, pouting because they’d rather be doing something else. Special teamers need to have a sense of comraderie with each other, like its them against the whole world, and I think a rookie class of late rounders will play like theres no tomorrow.

    A football game consists of THREE key phases, and winning 2 of the 3 usually wins you the ball game. Last year we lost at least 2 games when the offense and defense where good enough but the special teams gave the game away. I’d be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts we lost in that phase 10 to 12 times last year.

    I give this draft an A- because of the lack of production from Roy Williams last year,or otherwise I’d give an A.
    BTW I love your blog!

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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