While the media focuses on the high profiled first round names in this month’s upcoming NFL draft, many NFL scouts will tell you that teams are built in rounds three through seven.
Many Dallas Cowboy fans have been left wondering why, instead of franchising Anthony Spencer at $8.8M for the 2012 season, 2009 4th round pick Victor Butler wasn’t anointed the teams starting outside linebacker spot opposite DeMarcus Ware.
Its likely that within the Cowboys organization the consensus is that if Anthony Spencer would of been allowed to sign elsewhere, it not only would have left the Cowboys with depth issues at the linebacker position but total confidence in Victor Butler’s ability to fill the void opposite DeMarcus Ware may be lacking.
This situation alone leads us to ask ourselves how well the Dallas Cowboys have done building the team in the later rounds of the draft.
How many of you remember players taken in rounds 3-7 of the NFL draft the past 5 years? With that question let’s venture back and take a glimpse of exactly how well the team has built the team via draft rounds 3-7 starting with last years 2011 NFL Draft:
2011 NFL Draft round 3: The Dallas Cowboys surprised many with the selection of DeMarco Murray fromOklahoma in the third round. Many seen the need to draft a running back coming with the fading away of Marion Barber but choosingMurray in the third seemed like a reach to some. Yet the Sooner running back surprised just as many with a break-out rookie performance while filling in for an injured Felix Jones.
Round 4:Dallas once again went to a smaller lesser known school for offensive line help when the staff chose guard David Arkin fromMissouriState in the fourth round. Arkin never seen the field during the regular season but did flash potential during preseason. The Cowboys hope that Arkin will provide quality depth at some point but time may be running out for Arkin before it even began.
Round 5: Josh Thomas, defensive back from Buffalo was signed from the practice squad by the Carolina Panthers. Strike one, in the fifth round where a team is hoping to at least add depth and a special team’s contributor if nothing else but with Thomas Dallas received nothing but a wasted pick in last years draft.
Sixth round: Wide receiver Dwayne Harris fromEast Carolina had one of the most impressive preseason debuts for a rookie in Cowboys history, catching five passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Then, he fell off the radar. Harris appeared in seven games his rookie season for the Cowboys, returning kickoffs and punts, but he’s yet to catch a pass in a regular-season game.
Seventh round: Both Bill Nagy fromWisconsin and Shaun Chapas fromGeorgia, who himself played in only three games for the Dallas Cowboys, were both drafted in the seventh round. While during Chapas three games on the actual roster yielded the fullback a rushing total of zero yards, only one pass catch and status of an non-impact much less a contributor of any kind. Chapas’ seventh round counterpart, offensive lineman Bill Nagy, on the other hand actually started the 2011 season as the Cowboys starting left guard until an injury in the sixth week of the season derailed the former Badgers rookie season.
With the two recent signings in free agency of guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau, Bill Nagy and both David Arkin will likely see only spot duty and possible special team’s contribution but little else. How much of a contribution remains to be seen.
That leaves DeMarco Murray as the lone asset from rounds 3-7 of the 2011 NFL draft and that folks is just not acceptable but since we are only one year removed from this draft class we will allow the Dallas Cowboys the benefit of the doubt on 2011 until at least the end of the 2012 season. Let’s move on to rounds 3-7 of the 2010 NFL draft shall we?
Everyone remembers how enamored Jerry Jones was with thenOklahomaStatewide receiver, Dez Bryant. Most everyone not living under a rock knew that the young wide receiver would not likely fall to the Dallas Cowboys at the 27th overall spot of that year’s draft but would slide some due to character concerns. The controversial wide out was still on the board when the New England Patriots’ turn on the clock came up at 24th overall; Jerry Jones did his thing and away went the Dallas Cowboys third round draft choice as part of the deal to move up from 27th to the 24th position.
2010 NFL Draft round 3: Traded away toNew England in what is known as the Dez Bryant draft day deal.
Round 4: Dallas Cowboys took a gamble on Division II standout and safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah from Indiana Pennsylvania but the gamble didn’t pay off. Injured for most of his time with the Cowboys, Owusu-Ansah is now a player for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Strike two!
Round 5: Dallas traded this selection to Denver for guard Montrae Holland. Holland was cut early in the 2011 campaign in favor of Bill Nagy but later was signed after a season-ending ankle injury to the rookie lineman whoHolland was cut in favor of. No hard feelings on the part of Montrae Holland as the offensive guard stepped right in and performed admirable.
Round 6: Sam Young, a tackle from Notre Dame was waived in early September and was later acquired by the Buffalo Bills. Strike 3!
Round 6: Cornerback, Jamar Wall, from Texas Tech now plays for the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League. Strike number 4!
Seventh round: Interior defensive lineman, Sean Lissemore of William & Mary took a step forward with his play last season. He’s developed into a reliable nose tackle for the Cowboys and the team likes his aggressiveness and energy. He continues to improve and have impact. During his rookie season, Last season, Lissemore appeared in every game and finished the season with 28 tackles and two sacks. Some within the organization feel that Lissemore could break out this year given the opportunity and assuming he doesn’t get buried behind a 1st or 2nd round interior lineman in this April’s upcoming draft.