In a continuing series reviewing the Dallas Cowboys most recent drafts, today the 2010 draft will be evaluated. However, before jumping right into this review, let us take a glance back at the prior two articles that covered the 2012 & 2011 drafts respectively and give a short synopsis of what had been mentioned in each.
The article “A Quick Look Back at the Dallas Cowboys 2012 Draft” reviewed the 2012 draft class and looked briefly at how this group’s first season had fared. I also had briefly touched on what kind of hope the Cowboys can have for each player’s future. In summary, the Cowboys found one player (Claiborne) that was a starter and had a bright future (at the cost of two premium draft picks). Unfortunately, the rest of the draft class looks filled with question marks and disappointments.
In last week’s article “A Closer Look at the Dallas Cowboys 2011 Draft” I reviewed the 2011 draft class and looked closer at how the rookies first two seasons had played out. Also referenced was what kind of hope the Cowboys can have for each player’s future and the type of piece each one was. In summary, the Cowboys had eight picks and found three foundation pieces (Smith, Carter, and Murray) and a fourth player that was a contributor that showed future potential (Harris). Unfortunately, the other half of the draft class is no longer with the team two years later.
With the two most recent classes having been reviewed, I want to take another look at the 2010 group now that we have a solid size of three seasons worth of play to evaluate.
Here is a summary of the Dallas Cowboys 2010 draft:
1st Round – Dez Bryant (24th selection overall)
The Cowboys packaged the 27th overall and 90th overall to receive the 24th overall to select Bryant. Jones had long wanted a dynamic playmaking receiver to put into the Cowboys offense. Although Bryant had been taken off some team’s draft boards due to off the field issues, Jones would not let that deter him from going after Bryant. Jones has always regretted passing on Randy Moss in the 1998 draft due to similar off the field issues. Bryant has increased productivity in each of his three seasons and has produced the following statistics:
2010 45 receptions 561 yards 6 rec tds
2011 63 receptions 928 yards 9 rec tds
2012 92 receptions 1382 yards 12 rec tds
Bryant and Romo looked to have definitely found their chemistry (especially the second half of the 2012 season) and look to be dynamic duo for the foreseeable future.
2nd Round – - Sean Lee (55th selection overall)
The Cowboys packaged their own 59th overall and 125th overall to Philadelphia to move up four spots and ensure they were able to snag Lee. Lee has emerged in a short time to become the leader and best player on the Cowboy defense. In his three seasons he has recorded the following numbers:
2010 32 tackles (27 solo, 5 assist) 2 interceptions 2 pass deflections
2011 105 tackles (71 solo, 34 assist) 4 interceptions 7 pass deflections
2012 58 tackles (36 solo, 22 assist) 1 interception 3 pass deflections
The only concern with Lee is for him to be able to get and stay healthy. Coming from the linebacker factory at Penn State, Lee looks to man the middle of the Cowboy defense for the next decade and should continue to be great in the team’s conversion to the 4-3 defensive scheme heading into the future.
3rd Round – -Traded (90th overall)
This selection was packed with the Cowboys original 27th overall to move up to 24th overall and have the opportunity to select Dez Bryant as the Baltimore Ravens were looking to pick Bryant with the 25th overall selection.
4th Round – - Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (126th selection overall)
“AOA” was selected due his athletic ability and potential as a developmental player. He made the active roster as a rookie for the 2010 season and was used primarily as a kickoff return man until being placed on IR in early November. Ansah did not survive the final roster cut down for the 2011 season, and the team tried using him as a safety as well as wide receiver once he had been added to the practice squad. “AOA” has bounced around from the Cowboys to the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 & 2012 seasons while hoping to find a position and a permanent place in the league. He has spent the majority of his time on these teams practice squads
5th Round – -Traded (158th selection overall)
This selection had been traded to the Denver Broncos for guard Montrae Holland on 8/28/2008.
6th Round – - Sam Young (179nd selection overall)
Young was on the Cowboys 53 man roster for his rookie season in 2010. After a subpar showing during the 2011 training camp, Young was released from the team in early September. Young was claimed the next day by the Buffalo Bills and has been a member of that team for the 2011 & 2012 seasons.
6th Round – - Jamar Wall (196th selection overall)
Wall was cut from the Cowboys during the final roster cut down in early September of his rookie season. Wall was subsequently picked up by the Houston Texans and spent the next three weeks with them before being released in late September. Wall was then added to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad until activated to the 53 in late December. Wall failed to make the Eagles 53 man roster at the cut down in early September 2011 and was without a team for 2011. Wall took his talents in 2012 north of the border and is now a member of the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL.
7th Round – - Sean Lissemore (234nd selection overall)
Lissemore has been a good selection by the Cowboys and has played as a rotation player at both the defensive end and tackle positions for the team. Lissemore signed a “team friendly” contract extension in September 2012 and is locked up with the team through the 2016 season.
7th Round [(Supplemental Draft]- -Josh Brent (234nd selection overall)
Brent was a solid find in the supplemental draft after being ruled academically ineligible to play his senior year in college. Brent also was a rotation player with the team at the defensive tackle position used to keep Jay Ratliff fresh. Brent replaces Ratliff in the starting line-up when Ratliff has been unavailable to play due to numerous injuries. Brent showed good potential and looked to have a bright future with the team as he is only 24. Unfortunately, Brent has been charged and indicted on one count of intoxication manslaughter in late December 2012 with the horrendous accident/death of best friend and teammate Jerry Brown. His football career and life are all on hold at this time as this legal situation has yet to come to any conclusion.
So in review, the Cowboys with seven actual draft selections got the following:
Two great pieces in Bryant and Lee
One solid piece in Lissemore
One question mark in Brent
Three players no longer with the team in Owusu-Ansah, Young, and Wall
While this draft produced two absolute studs for the team and two rotation players, the team chose three players that are no longer with the team. This draft looks to be better than the 2012 draft, and close in terms in comparison to the 2011 class. However, the Cowboys need to improve their scouting ability in the back half of the draft. The team seems to do well in round 1 & 2, but the results have been questionable after this point, and as a result the team has had limited depth and had to go to the free agent market to try and fill these holes. Unfortunately by having results such as these, being up against the salary cap is by product of this and really inhibits a team when it comes to resigning its own players or getting that last piece to put the team over the top. Next Thursday I will continue the evaluation of the past few drafts by looking at the 2009 draft, which is commonly referred to by Cowboy fans as the “Roy Williams” draft.
Follow Craig Cortemeglia on Twitter at @ccortemegliaTLH