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Star-Studded Draft: Could Dallas’ 2016 Class Be All-Time Great?

After the dust settled on the , the received mixed reactions from fans and critics alike.

Many detractors pointed to the obvious right away — the team's largest flaws didn't seem to be addressed. Rather than select defensive play makers in the early rounds who could provide an immediate impact, the team's first two picks were spent on a and a luxury pick of , who will miss all of 2016 due to a severe knee .

Then came the rest of the from hell.

and plagued the team, crippling what was already presumed to be an underwhelming defensive unit. The backup position wasn't directly addressed with a veteran until went down with an injury, and many didn't seem to view as a franchise guy. His fourth round draft selection indicated that.

Many began to view the Dallas offseason as one of the team's worst in recent memory. When went down with another significant injury, all hope seemed to be lost.

Fast forward to week six of the season and things couldn't be better.

The Cowboys are 4-1, and all of a sudden a serious early contender in the . The team is much more than just an early surprise.

It may be premature, but the 2016 draft class deserves much of the credit. Just how great is this draft group, and where can they potentially rank in the franchise's ? As of now, this class has the potential to be near the top when all is said and done.

Whenever a team lands a potential franchise quarterback, their draft class immediately gains significant credibility. Just look at both the 1964 and 1989 drafts for the Cowboys, both of which are easily the best in franchise history. was selected in the 10th round and was selected with the first overall pick in their respective years.

It doesn't matter how you get there, as long as the franchise quarterback is taken at some point.Cowboys Headlines - Star Studded Draft: Could Dallas' 2016 Class Be All-Time Great? 2

In a QB driven league, landing a franchise guy is something that needs to be celebrated and heralded. Landing him in the fourth round is an even greater franchise achievement. Through five games, Dak Prescott appears to be an absolute steal, and the real deal.

Ezekiel Elliott is playing like the slam dunk that NFL scouts thought he would be. looks even more realistic than it did in the offseason as Zeke leads the league in rushing through five weeks. The Cowboys couldn't miss on a guy like Elliott, and even his high pick of fourth overall doesn't have many second guessing anymore.

But it doesn't just start and end with the two young offensive stars. Alone, landing both Prescott and Elliott make this draft class elite, but it has potential to go much further than that. The selection of Jaylon Smith could pan out down the stretch, and turn out to be a great defensive steal. He was graded by some as literally the
number one overall talent in the draft.

Cowboys Headlines - Star Studded Draft: Could Dallas' 2016 Class Be All-Time Great? 1The thought of Dallas landing three talents in a single draft (Elliott, Prescott, Smith) gives me chills. But  and cannot be overlooked either.

Brown has filled in formidably right away for an injured , which is incredible considering his 6th round selection. Collins appears to be contributing on a very unknown as well. Add a healthy into the mix down the stretch, and you could be looking at one of the most special draft classes to come through Dallas in a very long time.

Is it too early to call the 2016 Dallas class one of the franchise's best? Where will this class of players be in a few years? Let us know by commenting below.

Justin Grohowski
Justin Grohowski
Die hard Dallas Cowboys fan behind enemy lines here in New Jersey. CBS Sports employee and contributor for

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