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Have Cowboys Botched 1st-Round Pick Two Years In A Row?

Unfortunately, the once again left the majority of their fan base throwing up their hands in disbelief after selecting former Boise State 19th overall in the first-round of the . This marks the second year in a row the majority of has been left disappointed with who the Cowboys have chosen to take in the first-round.

I don't know about you, but the selection of Vander Esch immediately brought back the same feelings/emotions I dealt with a year ago after the Dallas Cowboys drafted . The sad truth is, both Taco Charlton and Leighton Vander Esch are somewhat similar in regards the type of players they are coming out of college.

Vander Esch and Charlton were both viewed as players who have yet to reach their true potential, which is why many draft analysts believe their best football is ahead of them. But, both are said to need more time to develop before they can be trusted as starters.

This begs the question as to why the Dallas Cowboys would draft such players in the first-round if they need more time to develop? Well, I think it's all about upside.

Leighton Vander Esch
Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch

Vander Esch is an ascending player considering where he started out. He played six-man football in high school, a school who only had a graduating class of 11, and walked on to Boise State. He continued to get better each season at Boise State and eventually took over as the starting middle linebacker.

Charlton is a lot like Vander Esch in the fact that he also didn't have a lot of starting coming out of Michigan. It's that lack of experience that really limited him as a rookie. His lack of football IQ even shocked when he worked with him season ago.

The Taco Charlton and Leighton Vander Esch picks by the Dallas Cowboys in the first-round are a little bit of a head scratcher for me. I'm trying real hard to buy into the thought process here, but I'm struggling because there were other players who could have been plugged in immediately and contributed right away.

Hopefully Charlton and Vander Esch end up working out, meaning the Dallas Cowboys made the right decision to draft them instead of some of the other prospects the fan base wanted, but it's difficult to believe that right now. Right now, it looks as if they may have botched their first-round selections the last two years.

Only time will tell…

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys botched their last two first-round draft picks?

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
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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  1. Last years pick of Charlton was definitely a head scratcher , but Vander Esch will be a season one starter definitely.

    • I wouldn’t be so sure. It would mean you’re likely moving Jaylon Smith to SAM and making Vander Esch the MLB. From what I’ve watched of Vander Esch, he’s going to struggle at MLB until he learns how to become more physical at the point of attack. I really think he’s a WILL LB in the NFL, who will eventually take over for Sean Lee.

  2. I’m calling BS on this one Brian. Though Taco was raw, he was drafted based on his ceiling and he did come on towards the latter part of the season. We also know DE is a position that has an incubation period for excellence. We can cry all we want about taking a different player last year and though LVE wasn’t my first choice but let’s let him get on the field before we throw around suggestions that a mistake was made. When Taco gets 6-10 sacks this year I hope all his detractors come correct.

    • I just thought that there were better players available for the Cowboys these last two years in the first-round who could have come in and contributed right away. Instead, they drafted two prospects who probably aren’t ready right now and need a little time to develop. Typically, you want your first-round player to start right away IMO. Having said that, I like their upside.

      • I think both players were drafted for their ceiling and not their floor. I wanted TJ Watt myself over Taco, but I trust our draft process and know they are far superior to me in scouting prospects. I’m going out on a limb and saying Taco will have a very good year. Better than Watt is hard to say because Watt is playing LB in a 3-4.

  3. So who do you take? There is going to be a quality WR or OL there at 50. My only bitch was Da Boys needed to trade back and add another pick in the 1st 3 rounds.

    Frankly I hope they use a 2019 pick to trade back into either round tonight.

    • Chuck, I would’ve tried to do trade back a few spots and then take Leighton Vander Esch. Or I would’ve taken one of the OG/WRs. The Cowboys could’ve really used an extra draft pick, especially with Jason Witten retiring all of a sudden. I could see them making a trade to draft a couple of players in the second or third rounds tonight.

  4. While it wasn’t the most popular pick with fans, Vander Esch will start right away, is Hitchens replacement, and Sean Lee insurance. Be patient I trust Will Mcclay

    • I don’t mind the pick, I just don’t know if he is going to start right away. That means you’re moving Jaylon Smith to SAM more than likely. You’ve spent two years developing him as a MLB. I think Vander Esch is Hitchens replacement and insurance policy for Smith and Sean Lee. I just don’t see a starter right now, but I like his upside.

      • We haven’t spent two years developing him as a MLB. His first year was a redshirt season and he played last year, probably more snaps than he should have. News has been good so far heading into his 2nd training camp, and recently he said that he prefers to rush the QB, which is something you are likely to see from your strong side LB. So, if I have Sean Lee healthy, Jaylon Smith as an additional weapon rushing the Qb, and wreaking havoc, and LVE providing his athleticism all over the field, then that may be the best option.

  5. The draft is always a crapshoot. Go to youtube and watch all the “experts” rave about Mo Claiborne. They are not raving now.

    • That’s true. That’s why I try to hold off on casting any kind of judgment. It’s just difficult sometimes when you truly believe there are other players that the Cowboys pass up who can be more of a contributor early on.

  6. I like the pick, especially after Day 2. I think when you put LVE with the Connor Williams pick, plus Gallup, you can see that the Cowboys have addressed BPA + need. With LVE and Williams we picked up two players mocked in a ton of drafts as 1st rounders. I believe we have done an excellent job of filling in critical holes.
    Many have said our Biggest needs were LB, G and WR. Done and we still have 7 picks to address some other weaknesses..

    Why I like the pick: (1)I can’t imagine Sean Lee not missing a few games. (2)There is no Hitchens and KC thought Anthony was deserving enough to pay him 9 milll a year. That’s two holes in the LB corp. (3)There is Jaylon. #45 keep ascending and is still a mystery as to whether he is 100%. That’s 3 holes. (4)Damien Wilson on our roster could almost be called a 4th hole. That should more than justify Vander Esch at #19. The cool thing is we are heading into the 4th round with Josey Jewell and Jack Cichy still available. Maybe a 2nd LB will be plucked up at 116 or 137. It could happen….like I said there are a few holes at LB.
    Draft Grade: A-

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