Dallas Cowboys Turnaround Begins With Better Drafting in Second Round

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Apr 26, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks before the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

It never ceases to amaze me when I hear the occasional suggestion that the Dallas Cowboys have done a better job of drafting in recent years. I find myself wondering exactly what gives anybody that idea.

Perhaps the somewhat dramatic trade-up for wide receiver Dez Bryant in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft seems bigger than it really is.

Or maybe it’s the first-round selection of then-right tackle turned left tackle Tyron Smith a year later that creates an illusion of excellent decision-making.

If so, shall I refer you to my thoughts on the 2012 trade-up for cornerback Morris Claiborne, this at the expense of a second pick? Yes, the same Claiborne who’s injured at the present time and has all of two career interceptions in almost as many seasons.

No, the problem with Dallas’ track record in the NFL draft has less to do with the first round, at least when they’ve actually had a first round pick—they obviously didn’t in 2009, 2001 and 2000. I will add that the double-whiff of running back Felix Jones and cornerback Mike Jenkins in the first round of the 2008 selection meeting doesn’t exactly beef up the argument that the Cowboys are special when making their first round selections. Neither of those players are in Dallas anymore.

The biggest problem for Dallas is clearly Round 2—you pick the draft over the last six seasons. I actually went back further and found that things weren’t much better for a greater period of time than I care to discuss—how long do we all have to live, you know?

Let’s just examine the recent past to gain a much greater perspective as to why the Cowboys have so many holes and lack so much depth:

 

2013 Round 2 Pick: Gavin Escobar TE, San Diego State

2012 Round 2 Pick: No selection

2011 Round 2 Pick: Bruce Carter LB, North Carolina

2010 Round 2 Pick: Sean Lee LB, Penn State

2009 Round 2 Pick: No selection

2008 Round 2 Pick: Martellus Bennett TE, Texas A&M

2007 Round 2 Pick: No selection

2006 Round 2 Pick: Anthony Fasano TE, Notre Dame

 

Now, a quick glance at the results of the last eight Dallas drafts shows some oddities that only owner and general manger Jerry Jones could possibly understand—I fail to see how anybody else could.

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