Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs after catching a pass in the fourth quarter of the game against Minnesota Vikings strong safety Mistral Raymond (41) and cornerback Marcus Sherels (35) at AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Revisiting the 2010 NFL Draft: Cowboys Dez Bryant or Bust


Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs after a reception against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With a mere 18 days until the 2014 NFL Draft, I thought we’d take a look back to four years ago.  Why review the 2010 draft? After months and months of evaluating players in preparation for the Dallas Cowboys portion of the upcoming draft, there is a tendency to believe every player taken in the first round has the potential to be a Hall of Famer. The fact is a majority of these top prospects don’t live up to the hype. And with the top selections from the 2010 draft now having three seasons under their belts, the trajectory of their NFL careers should be much easier to predict.

First, let’s take a look at those prospects selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

2010 NFL Draft First Round

Pick
Player
Pos
Tm
1Sam BradfordQBSTL
2Ndamukong SuhDTDET
3Gerald McCoyDTTAM
4Trent WilliamsTWAS
5Eric BerryDBKAN
6Russell OkungTSEA
7Joe HadenDBCLE
8Rolando McClainLBOAK
9C.J. SpillerRBBUF
10Tyson AlualuDTJAX
11Anthony DavisTSFO
12Ryan MathewsRBSDG
13Brandon GrahamDEPHI
14Earl ThomasDBSEA
15Jason Pierre-PaulDENYG
16Derrick MorganDETEN
17Mike IupatiGSFO
18Maurkice PounceyCPIT
19Sean WeatherspoonLBATL
20Kareem JacksonDBHOU
21Jermaine GreshamTECIN
22Demaryius ThomasWRDEN
23Bryan BulagaTGNB
24Dez BryantWRDAL
25Tim TebowQBDEN
26Dan WilliamsDTARI
27Devin McCourtyDBNWE
28Jared OdrickDEMIA
29Kyle WilsonDBNYJ
30Jahvid BestRBDET
31Jerry HughesDEIND
32Patrick RobinsonDBNOR

Here are some of interesting facts about this draft class:

  • Out of the 32 players selected in the first round, only 16 of them have been selected to attend the Pro Bowl in the last three years. The top pick in the draft, Ram’s quarterback Sam Bradford, is not one of them.
  • Four of these players have Super Bowl rings. (Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Jason Pierre-Paul and Bryan Bulaga)
  • Out of the 32 players, two of them are no longer in the NFL. (Tim Tebow, Jahvid Best)
  • And another two play for different teams than the one who drafted them. (Rolando McClain, Jerry Hughes)
  • Despite not having a first round selection in this draft, the Baltimore Raven would win the championship less than two years later.

As for the Cowboys, the acquisition of Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant could be looked upon as a turning point for the franchise. Bryant, who many considered a top-five talent, dropped steeply in the first round due to major concerns about various off-the-field issues. Dallas traded up three spots, from #27 to #24 to draft him. And their risk paid off big.

Although there have been some off-the-field issues, no one can deny Bryant’s impact on it. Only two wide receivers in NFL history have compiled 275 receptions, 4,000 yards and 40 TDs through their first four NFL seasons: Randy Moss and Dez Bryant. For Dez, the sky is the limit. He’s seen as one of the top young wideouts in the NFL. Other players drafted in his class aren’t as lucky.

The truth is, there aren’t many Dez Bryants out there. Despite bolstering 16 Pro Bowl players, a lot of those prospects are still trying to prove they were worthy of being a first round selection. Players like Bradford, McClain, Ryan Matthews and C.J. Spiller. Some players, like Tebow for instance, are just trying to prove they belong in the NFL. But that’s the thing about first rounders. Most of them will get every opportunity to prove themselves.

So when these “great” players are being selected in the first round of next month’s draft, just remember this: Out of the 322 total players selected in the first round from 1990 until the 2000 NFL Draft, only eight of them have actually been named to the Hall of Fame. Greatness is a rare thing. And most of these new elite prospects won’t live up to their first round billing either.

Next Cowboys Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep3:25San Francisco 49ersBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2010 NFL Draft Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant

  • Scott.

    Really didn’t know that his stats were that impressive. 40 td’s is monstrousness. Hope they can find a way to resign him and smith.

    • Old Frog

      With Romo’s $28 million cap hit in 2015 and the estimates of how much Bryant and Smith will want it could be really hard. 3 players potentially eating up 35% of the cap. Out of the frying pan with Hatcher, Ware, and Austin but back into the fire with Romo, Bryant, and Smith.

      • Scott.

        Understand, then old man age catches up and romo must go… Simple as that. Talent vs age I’ll take talent all day…. Sadly I must say that I’m probably in the minority

        • Alex Darden

          Seriously hope cowboy brass is in that minority as well. I definitely agree with you. Romo and Witten both have to be gone in the next 2-3 years. Nothing but respect for them both but like the whole D-Ware situation this year, this is a young man’s game. Gotta give the big bucks to the young bucks.

      • 19bigred85

        That’s why I told you frog that dez is a top 5 wide receiver at the worst and you gotta remember that he was Hurt for a good portion of both of those seasons he could have broke a lot of records if got to play in those games he was Hurt. And he also split time with Roy Williams and Austin which was really stupid to me