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NFL Draft

Last of the ’09 Cowboys Draft Class, Victor Butler Signs with Saints



As I am sure you all know by now, Victor Butler has signed with the Saints.

Victor Butler signed with the Saints on March 28th, 2013.

Victor Butler signed with the Saints on March 28th, 2013.

Butler was the last remaining member of the 2009 draft class, meaning the Cowboys have nothing left to show for the notably bad ’09 draft class.

In 2009 the Cowboys had 12 draft picks, seven of which are no longer in the NFL. Butler, and tight-end John Phillips - who left for the San Diego Chargers as a free agent this off season - were hands-down the best members of the class.

Out of those 12 picks in that draft only Butler, Phillips, kicker Dave Bueler and third-string quarterback Stephen McGee lasted more than two years with the Cowboys.

From 2006 to 2009 the Cowboys selected 36 players, there are now only a measly four of the 36 left - Jason Hatcher, Anthony Spencer, Orlando Scandrick and Doug Free.

The 2009 draft was by far one of the worst draft years for the Cowboys in the last 10-15 years.

Take this in, the draft was a mere four years ago, and the team has nothing left to show for it. Usually it takes more than 4 years to determine whether a draft was a winner or failure, but in this case it’s safe to call ’09 a failure.

The Cowboys ’09 Draft consisted of:
Jason Williams - Linebacker - third-round pick, 69th overall -  Currently #57 Carolina Panthers

Robert Brewster - Offensive lineman - third-round pick, 75th overall - Currently a Free Agent

Stephen McGee - Quarterback - fourth-round pick, 101st overall - Signed with Houston Texans on January 24th, 2013.

Brandon Williams - Linebacker - fourth-round pick, 120th overall - Currently #59 Arizona Cardinals

DeAngelo Smith - Corner - fifth-round pick, 143rd overall - waived by Cowboys at the end of training camp - currently a free agent.

Michael Hamlin - Safety - fifth-round pick, 166th overall - Currently a free agent.

David Buehler - Kicker - fifth-round pick, 172nd overall - Currently #18 New York Giants

Stephen Hodge - Safety - Sixth-round pick, 197th overall - never played with Cowboys due to injuries.

John Phillips - Tight end - Sixth-round pick, 208th overall - Signed with San Diego Chargers on March 12, 3012.

Mike Mickens - Corner - Seventh-round pick, 227th overall -  Currently playing in the Canadian Football League with the Calgary Stampeders.

Manuel Johnson - Wide Receiver, 229th overall - seventh-round pick, 229th overall, didn’t make roster.

And of course...

Victor Butler - Linebacker - fourth-round pick - 110th overall - Currently New Orleans Saints.


The Cowboys had high-hopes for Butler, but his inconsistency has proven to be a problem over the years.

Butler was the Cowboys fourth-round pick and 110th overall in 2009.

Butler will be reunited with former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who has always spoken highly of the LB. Ryan was released from the Cowboys in January after two seasons with the team.


NFL Draft

Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys

Kevin Brady



2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

As the 2018 NFL Draft draws closer, teams are beginning to hold their official visits with prospects of their own choosing. The Cowboys have already met with a few different prospects thus far, and they've reportedly added a linebacker to that list this week.

Multiple reports are saying the Cowboys will meet with Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch this week, adding him to the list of 30 potential visits.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

BoiseState LB Leighton Vander Esch will be a pre-draft visitor for the #Cowboys. Add him to your list of 30, per Tony Pauline.

Vander Esch is a bit of a controversial prospect in the draft world. As I've stated before, he tested like a freak athletically, and his combine profile alone would put him in the discussion on day one. The problems I have with Vander Esch have nothing to do with his athleticism, however, and everything to do with his actual football-playing ability.

On film, I see a player who struggles to get off blocks and will have trouble finding a home with the Cowboys. Still, I wouldn't mind the Cowboys drafting Vander Esch - that pick cannot come in the first round though.

Vander Esch is a long, rangy, and athletic linebacker who is at his best playing laterally and tracking down plays. As a blitzer, Vander Esch has some rather clear issues. He often runs directly into blocks and is unable to shed at the point of attack. I also don't think he is as instinctual a player as some of the other linebackers in this class, such as BYU's Fred Warner or Alabama's Rashaan Evans.

The way things are looking, however, Vander Esch is going to be a first round pick. And if not, he'll almost certainly be a top 50 pick. I wouldn't be very comfortable taking him at 19, and I'd have to think twice before even taking him at 50 for that matter.

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NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott

Sean Martin



2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)

With more pressing needs on offense at guard and wide receiver, and defensively at DE or LB, the Cowboys' concerning lack of proven ability at safety has taken a backseat in this offseason's roster build. With the expectation that new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard will elevate the play of the entire Cowboys' secondary, the team is doing their due diligence on safeties available in the 2018 NFL Draft - starting with Texas' DeShon Elliott.

Josh Norris on Twitter

It appears Texas S DeShon Elliott is visiting the #Cowboys today

With 63 tackles and six interceptions in his final season at Texas, Elliott took full advantage of being a starter in the Big 12 for the first time in his career, flying onto the NFL Draft scene.

Elliott is a well-balanced, average athlete with the upside to be targeted late in April's draft and make a difference.

If they had to play a game tomorrow, the Cowboys would be rolling with Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier at safety.

Finding an expanded role this season for Frazier should be a priority in Dallas, as should supplementing Heath and Woods with additional talent. DeShon Elliott would fit this group well, along with the Cowboys' scheme, given his range and disruptive ability.

Should Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and now Byron Jones help the Cowboys reach their full potential at CB, the Cowboys safeties will not be tested in single coverage up the field often. This is an area that Elliott was exploited in at Texas plenty of times, performing better as a true free safety or second-level player.

Continuing to add young talent at the right price is key to the Cowboys' ongoing rebuild on defense, now visiting with a local safety prospect that should be available to them in the later rounds. Texas' DeShon Elliott is officially a name to consider come draft week in Dallas.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”

Kevin Brady



Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Last week, I detailed what the Cowboys tend to look for when drafting a wide receiver. In terms of a combine profile, Dallas clearly has a "type" of wide-out they like to target.

The Cowboys certainly need to upgrade their receiving corps, but with the plethora of other holes to fill, they may not be able to do so until the 3rd or 4th round. Luckily for the Cowboys, there is at least one receiver which both fits their profile and should be available early on day three.

That player is Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

Working on something for @InsideTheStarDC... here's the height, weight, 40 time, and 3 cone for every WR DAL has taken since 2010.

First, let's re-examine what the Cowboys like to look for. As you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys draft targets all seem to fit a similar profile. If we treat Dez Bryant as their "ideal" draft pick, the trends become even clearer. Dallas wants to find a wide-out who is about 6'1" 205 pounds, runs nearly a 4.5 40 yard dash, and about a 6.9 three come time.

DeaSean Hamilton, coincidentally, is 6'1" 203 pounds, ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at the Penn State pro day, and ran a 6.84 three cone at the combine. Penn State's all time receptions leader stole the show at the 2018 Senior Bowl, putting all of "Draft Twitter" on notice to his talent.

An efficient and smooth route runner, Hamilton looks natural coming in and out of breaks, creating separation with his precise routes. The Cowboys don't have many receivers on their roster who can win with their route running, and adding a player like Hamilton would greatly help third year quarterback Dak Prescott moving forward.

With the ability to play in the slot, as well as potentially being a Z receiver for the Cowboys and a replacement for Terrance Williams, Hamilton would be an excellent draft target in the third or fourth round. And, keeping in mind how nicely he fits their typical draft profile, I'd expect Dallas to target Hamilton during the 2018 NFL Draft.

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