Analysis of the Dallas Cowboys 2007 NFL Draft Class

By: Joe D.

This is a continuation of the draft analysis.  Draft grades are often handed out well before the prospects lace up their shoes for the first rookie training camp.  It takes three years to determine whether a draft was indeed a “good” draft or riddled with busts.  As stated previously, all teams SHOULD get an incomplete immediately after the draft, but they don’t.  So let’s look back at the 2007 Cowboys draft class to see whether the grades given at the time were even close (C from SI, B from Yahoo Sports, B from CBS sports).  Also, keeping in mind that it isn’t about who you take, but rather who you didn’t take (take Sam Bowie, please).

Anthony Spencer in 1st round at 26th overall

Pro-Bowl: No, but plays at a high level and will undoubtably reach the pro-bowl in the next few years

Starter: Yes

Still on the team: Yes

Player(s) you could have had instead: Brandon Meriweather, Jon Beason, Tony Ugoh, Sidney Rice, and LaMarr Woodley

Analysis:  Spencer showed flashes of talent in his first two years, but he ushered in the post – Greg Ellis era.  He is capable in pass coverage, is a very good pass rusher, and plays the run well.  2009 was a breakout season for Spencer and expectations are he will continue to improve in 2010.  The other available players are as good, but not necessarily better than Spencer.  As a side note, the Cowboys traded down and acquired the Browns first round pick the following year.  They then proceeded to trade up to draft Spencer.  Essentially the Cowboys gave a 3rd and 5th for a 2008 1st round pick which became Felix Jones.

2010 20/20 hindsight grade: A+ for Spencer and A+ for Felix Jone the following year

James Marten in the 3rd round at 67 overall:

Pro-Bowl: No

Starter: No

Still on the team: No

Player(s) you could have had instead:  Originally the Cowboys were drafting at 53 and elected to trade down.  Players available at 53 and beyond were Ryan Kalil (center for the Carolina Panthers), Jacoby Jones, Trent Edwards, Micheal Bush, and other players who have contributed but not made their mark in the NFL.

Analysis: Marten is currently with the Chicago Bears and has played for three different teams in 3 years.  While he certainly has been a bust, it is not compounded by the availability of great players at a similar position or at a position of need.

2010 20/20 hindsight grade: F+ (the plus because we didn’t miss out on any future superstars)

Isaiah Stanback in 4th round at 103rd overall

Pro-Bowl: No

Starter: No

Still on the team: No

Player(s) you could have had instead: Daniel Sepulveda, Doug Free (which would allow for taking another player with the other 4th round pick)

Analysis:  Stanback was a project and like most projects he did not pan out.  He was only with the Cowboys for only 2 injury riddled years.  It felt like he was with the team for much more than that.  He was cut to allow room for Kevin Ogletree who shined in his brief 2009 appearances.  Stanback played for the New England Patriots in 2010 catching 3 balls for 22 yard.  He doubled his career production!

2010 20/20 hindsight grade: F+ (the plus because we didn’t miss out on any future superstars)

Doug Free in 4th round at 122nd overall:

Pro-Bowl: No

Starter: Yes

Still on the team: Yes

Player(s) you could have had instead: LeRon McClain, Steve Breaston, and Kevin Boss

Analysis: Free played effectively when Marc Colombo was injured during the 2009 season.  There were nearly no drop off in the quality of play.  Amazingly enough, Free had a highlight (as an offensive lineman) when he ran down the field and was run blocking an Eagles defensive back.  Free will be a cornerstone player to usher in a new younger era of the Cowboys offensive line.  Whether he will play right or left tackle will be a mystery, but his play in 2009 provides Cowboys fans a reason to be optimistic.

2010 20/20 hindsight grade: B+

Nick Folk in 6th round at 178th overall:

Pro-Bowl: Yes

Starter: Yes

Still on the team: No

Player(s) you could have had instead: Mason Crosby

Analysis:  Folk was amazing for 2 years and suffered in 2009 after having hip surgery.  While the injury may have healed, Folk’s confidence was lost during the season.  Folk has joined the NY Jets for the 2010 season.

2010 20/20 hindsight grade: B+ (Crosby is kicking effectively for the Green Bay Packers, but the grade is still high as he was an effective player taken in the 6th round)

Deon Anderson in 6th round at 195th overall

Pro-Bowl: No

Starter: Yes

Still on the team: Yes, though that may not be the case after the 2010 draft.

Player(s) you could have had instead: No one of note.

Analysis:  Anderson may not be on the team for 2010 due to an off the field gun related issue.  Reports have the Cowboys considering full-backs in the 2010 draft.  Anderson has played in 38 games the past three seasons.  He has been an effective blocking tight end in an era where the tight end is being phased out.

2010 20/20 hindsight grade: B+

Courtney Brown in 7th round at 212th overall

Pro-Bowl: No

Starter: No

Still on the team: No

Player(s) you could have had instead: Tyler Thigpen,

Analysis:  Brown was on the team for 2 years playing in 17 games.

2010 20/20 hindsight grade: D+

Alan Ball in 7th round at 237th overall

Pro-Bowl: No

Starter: No

Still on the team: Yes

Player(s) you could have had instead: Ahmad Bradshaw, Matt Moore

Analysis:  Ball is presently 1st or 2nd on the depth chart as Ken Hamlin was released this off-season.  Ball started three games and was praised by Wade Phillips.  The Cowboys are reportedly in the market for a safety to replace Hamlin, but it is possible that Ball’s performance in 2009 helped to make the decision to move past Hamlin a reality.

2010 20/20 hindsight grade: B+

Final analysis: The perfect draft would have been Anthony Spencer, Ryan Kalil, Doug Free, Steve Breaston, Mason Crosby, Deon Anderson, Alan Ball, and possibly Ahmad Bradshaw.

Unlike 2006, the Cowboys actually drafted several of the ideal picks.  Nick Folk was amazing for two years and that certainly should not be ignored.  All in all, this was a good draft by the Cowboys finding starters in Spencer, Free, Folk, Anderson and possibly Ball.  Final grade based on all of the above, A-.  In another 2 years, the grade can continue to improve, especially if the tandem of Spencer and DeMarcus Ware becomes unstoppable.

Topics: 2007 Nfl Draft, Ahmad Bradshaw, Alan Ball, Anthony Spencer, Brandon Meriweather, Chicago Bears, Courtney Brown, Daniel Sepulveda, DeMarcus Ware, Deon Anderson, Doug Free, Felix Jones, Greg Ellis, Isaiah Stanback, Jacoby Jones, James Marten, Jon Beason, Ken Hamlin, Kevin Boss, Kevin Ogletree, LaMarr Woodley, LeRon McClain, Marc Colombo, Mason Crosby, Matt Moore, Michael Bush, New England Patriots, Nick Folk, Ryan Kalil, Sam Bowie, Sidney Rice, Steve Breaston, Tony Ugoh, Trent Edwards, Tyler Thigpen

Want more from The Landry Hat?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.

Comments are closed.

4 hours ago

NFL Schedule Release 2014: Channel Info, Live Stream and Start Time

19 hours ago

How Risky Should The Dallas Cowboys Be In The NFL Draft?

23 hours ago

Cowboys Draft History: Five Best Moves by Jerry Jones