In a continuing series reviewing the Dallas Cowboys most recent drafts and who else was available, today the 2009 draft will be evaluated. The team included its original 1st, 3rd, and 6th round picks from this draft in a trade during the 2008 season with the Detroit Lions for Roy Williams. The team moved around the draft board to acquire more picks, yet did a very poor job at selecting during this draft. In multiple instances had the team stood pat and selected from the players available, this draft could’ve had a much different outcome.
Here is a summary of the Dallas Cowboys 2009 draft, and players that were available when the Cowboys were selecting:
1st Round – (20th selection overall)
This selection was the main piece in the trade with the Detroit Lions, and they used this pick to draft TE Brandon Pettigrew. Notable players selected after #20 include the following: Alex Mack – C/G (21), Percy Harvin –WR (22), Vontae Davis – CB (25), Clay Mattews – LB (26), Eric Wood – C/G (28), Louis Delmas – (S), Hakeem Nicks – WR (29), James Laurinaitis – LB (35), Rey Maualuga – LB (38), Jairus Byrd – S (42), Connor Barwin – DE (46), Max Unger – C/G (49)
2nd Round – - (51st selection overall)
The Cowboys traded this pick to the Buffalo Bills for the 75th and 110th picks. Notable players selected after #51 include the following: Andy Levitre – G (51), LeSean McCoy – RB (53), Phil Loadholt – OT (54), William Moore – S (55), Paul Kruger – LB (57), Sebastian Vollmer – OT (58), Sean Smith – CB (61)
3rd Round – -Jason Williams (69th overall)
Williams was selected early in the third round due to his great workout numbers and speed he displayed prior to the draft. Williams was released by the team midway through his second season with the team. Notable players selected after #69 include the following: Michael Johnson – DE (70), Terrance Knighton – DT (72), Derek Cox – CB (73)
3rd Round – -Robert Brewster (75th overall)
Brewster turned out to be another poor offensive line selection by the team as he was released midway through his second season in October 2010. Brewster did not play for team in 2011, and spent the 2012 season with the Kansas City Command of the AFL. Notable players selected after #75 include the following: DeAndre Levy – LB (76), Louis Vasquez – G (78), Kraig Urbik – G (79), Mike Wallace – WR (84), Lardarius Webb – CB (88), Jared Cook – TE (89), Jerraud Powers – CB (92)
4th Round – - Stephen McGee (101th selection overall)
McGee was a developmental quarterback who sadly never ended up developing. After investing three seasons of resources into the player, the Cowboys decided to part ways by releasing him to get the roster to the 53 player limit to start the season this past September. Notable players selected after #101 include the following: Henry Melton – DT (105), Brian Hartline – WR (108)
4th Round – - Victor Butler (110th selection overall)
Butler was the best player the Cowboys selected in this draft. He provided depth as a rotation player at the outside linebacker position for the team primarily pass rushing specialist. Butler will most likely be joining a new team in the coming days. Notable players selected after #110 include the following: Glover Quin – S (112)
4th Round – - Brandon Williams (120th selection overall)
Williams was with the team for two seasons before being released in August 2011. Williams has since spent time with the Arizona Cardinals. Notable players selected after #120 include the following: Johnny Knox – WR (140), Jasper Brinkley – LB (150), James Casey – TE (152)
5th Round – -DeAngelo Smith (143rd selection overall)
Smith was released during final roster cuts his rookie year and has not been part of an active roster since September 2010. Notable players selected after #143 include the following: Thomas Morstead – P (164), Chris Clemons – S (165)
5th Round – -Michael Hamlin (166th selection overall)
Hamlin was released by the Cowboys in October of his second season. He has spent some time with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2010) and Indianapolis Colts (2011). Smith did play for a team in the 2012 season and was out of football. No notable players were taken between #166 & #172.
5th Round – -David Buehler (172nd selection overall)
Buehler was a “workout wonder” at the combine and put up great numbers for a kicker and had a big strong leg. As a rookie, Buehler was the team’s kickoff and in 2010 had the full job to himself, but was very erratic converting on only 24 of 32 attempts. In 2011, the team brought in Dan Bailey to handle the field goals, while Buehler went back to his role of kickoff specialist. Once Bailey showed the teams he was able to handle the kickoffs as well, Buehler was released after the season and did not play in 2012. Notable players taken after #172 include the following: Bear Pascoe – TE (184), Matt Slauson – G (193)
6th Round – - Stephen Hodge (197th selection overall)
Hodge was a player who the Cowboys had high hopes could become a special teams ace for the team. The team selected him knowing he had knee issues but had hoped he would overcome them. Unfortunately, he had micro fracture procedures on both knees, which has most likely ended his career. Hodge was released in November 2010 after reaching an injury settlement. Notable players taken after #197 include the following: Curtis Painter – QB (201), Brandon Myers – TE (202), Jason McCourty – CB (203)
6th Round – - John Phillips (208th selection overall)
Phillips has been a rotation player for the Cowboys playing behind Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett and has shown decent ability as a blocker and pass catcher. Phillips signed a three year contract with the San Diego Chargers on the first day of free agency this offseason. Notable players taken after #208 include the following: E.J. Biggers – CB (217)
7th Round – - Mike Mickens (227th selection overall)
Mickens was released at the final roster cut down after getting burned all through training camp. Mickens has played in Canada with the Calgary Stampede for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 season. No notable players were taken between #227 & #229.
7th Round – - Manuel Johnson (229th selection overall)
Johnson was a player the Cowboys hoped would develop into a slot receiver for the team and was released in 2011 before getting the roster to 53 in August. Notable players taken after #229 include the following: Moise Fokou – LB (230), Julian Edelman – WR (232), LaRod Stephens-Howling – RB (240), Rickey Jean-Francois – DT (244), Arian Foster – RB (Undrafted)
This class was immediately called a “special teams” draft and “the dreadful dozen”, as it seemed pretty bad right away, and four years later it looks even worse. You just can’t “miss” on an entire draft, which is what the team did and the team’s depth has paid for management’s poor decision making during this year’s draft process. At the start of the 2013 season, the team won’t have even one player on its roster that was selected during this draft. The Cowboys maneuvered around the draft board, but missed out on players that could have helped while selecting a bunch of players who could not compete at the NFL level. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, poor drafts such as this are why the team has continued to be over the salary cap. The team has had to spend in free agency to fill in for missteps during the draft, which is where the nucleus of the team should be built instead of finding the piece to put them over the top.
Follow Craig Cortemeglia on Twitter at @ccortemegliaTLH