Jason Garrett’s Greatest Dallas Cowboys Draft Hits

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Aug 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith (77) on the sidelines in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

I’m a Jason Garrett process believer. A trio of 8-8 seasons on the spin left many fans of the Dallas Cowboys scratching their heads. I may not have understood some of his play calling strategies (or lack thereof!) but Garrett’s dedication to rebuilding this football team is a vision I happily accepted.

It took a surprisingly successful 2014 season to convince many that the Cowboys head coach is indeed the right man to be in charge. The appointment of Scott Linehan led to a change in style, with Dallas pounding the ground with DeMarco Murray. As crucial as that change was for the on field results, the attitude towards recruitment both via the draft and free agency is also paying dividends.

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The 2015 draft was the fifth with Garrett as the official head coach. In that time the Cowboys have drafted 39 players, 24 of those remain with the team. The offensive line is being touted as the best in the league. That’s come through Garrett. Three of the starters on the offensive line have come via first round draft picks in the Garrett era. Protect your quarterback. Build from the front back.

I decided to look at the picks under Garrett, and collate my ultimate Red draft. The rules were simple, putting together the drafts from 2011-2015 pick one player the Cowboys took from each round. There’s some tough decisions! Here’s what I went with:

With three of his five first round picks on the offensive line, Garrett’s rebuild agenda was clear. Every single one of the three could be considered the best pick. The world scoffed when the Cowboys took center Travis Frederick in the first round, while there were cries for Johnny Football when Zack was drafted in 2014.

The selection of Tyron Smith signalled the change in draft attitude. He was young, with exceptional size and athleticism for his position and ticked the character box. After all, we know Jason Garrett likes a ‘right kind of guy’.

"“He’s very talented. But I’m not sure I’ve ever been around a guy who has worked harder. …He’s about as tough as they come. He represents everything we want as a Dallas Cowboy.” – Jason Garrett"

In three of his four seasons in the league, Smith has been ranked as one of the top ten tackles by PFF. At just twenty-five he’s considered the best left tackle in the NFL, and he’s only going to continue to get better.

Next: Second & Third Round Steals