Dallas Cowboys Are Awful At Drafting Cornerbacks


Now that the 2015 NFL Draft is only a matter of hours away, finally, I thought it would be a good time to point out a obvious fact.

With a good number of mock drafts projecting that the Dallas Cowboys might choose a cornerback with their first selection1, I have to say this much:

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The Cowboys stink when it comes to drafting cornerbacks, period.

Another first-round cornerback just three years after the Morris Claiborne debacle of 2012, a story still unfolding and hampering America’s Team at this very moment, is quite depressing.

Remember that Deion Sanders wasn’t a Dallas draft pick.

And that Everson Walls wasn’t actually a draft pick either. The former Grambling defensive back signed as an undrafted free agent after running a 4.72 40-yard dash during pre-draft workouts.

Let’s just focus on the current millennium for this discussion, shall we?

Going back just a year ago, we see the selection of now-Chicago Bears cornerback Terrance Mitchell, a player that never made it to the opening day roster. So much for that seventh round pick.

The year prior, in 2013, Dallas chose corner B.W. Webb out of Williams and Mary. But he wasn’t deemed worthy of so much as a second season entering the 2014 campaign. Webb was a fourth-round pick who’s currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Prior to the Claiborne mess, there was the fifth-round selection of Josh Thomas out of Buffalo. Although he didn’t reach the regular season that year either. Currently a free agent, Thomas has played for several teams while posting a single interception since entering the league in 2011.

The 2010 NFL Draft brought two corner selections in small-school prospect Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and Jamar Wall out of Texas Tech. Ansah didn’t play in the NFL last year and Wall plays in the Canadian Football League.

Seeing a trend here?

Wait, there’s more – or less actually.

The annual player selection meeting of 2009, possibly the worst in the history of the Cowboys franchise, brought another double-play – or double-whiff – at the cornerback position. Remember DeAngelo Smith and Mike Mickens?

Hey, I wouldn’t either if not for the fact that both came from the same school (Cincinnati).

Yes, the 2008 NFL Draft saw the first-round selection of Mike Jenkins out of South Florida. But while I was never as down on him as many others were, I do understand why he wasn’t extended beyond his original rookie contract. He’s played on a new team each year since being allowed to vanish following the ’12 campaign in which Claiborne beat him out for a starting job – what does that say?

In 2007, Dallas went with Courtney Brown of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Alan Ball of Illinois. Having worked in radio for a few years in S.L.O., I was shocked to see a Mustang drafted by the Cowboys. But not for long as Brown lasted just two seasons in Dallas, only three in the NFL. Ball is with the Bears and offered three interceptions for the Cowboys over five seasons.

Sparing themselves the trouble in 2006 and 2005, then-head coach Bill Parcells tried to prioritize the position in his second draft leading the Cowboys in 2004. But the “trifecta” of fourth-round pick Bruce Thornton and seventh-rounders Nathan Jones and Jacques Reeves brought little to the Dallas secondary.

In 2003, the sixth-round wasted selection of journeyman B.J. Tucker was only forgotten completely because of another choice in that draft I’ll discuss in a minute.

Derek Ross and Pete Hunter came along in 2002, but despite some good potential, both played less than five combined seasons with the Cowboys.

The 2001 draft saw no cornerback selections, but that’s because of the horrible choices made the year before that just weren’t fully understood quite yet.

Dallas had a mere five selections in the 2000 NFL Draft, yet felt compelled to spend three of those pics on corners. Dwayne Goodrich, Kareem Larrimore and Mario Edwards offered up a total of nine collective seasons in Dallas, the first of those names ending up doing time in prison following his involvement in a hit and run in early ’03.

If you’re keeping any score here, you have probably figured out that only ’03 first-round pick Terrence Newman and ’08 fifth-round choice Orlando Scandrick have amounted to solid, starting-caliber cornerbacks for the Cowboys, as draft picks mind you, over the last two decades.

Think about that for a minute.

It’s a good thing Dallas has other priorities to address in this particular NFL draft – and Will McClay.