Dallas Cowboys: Bleak Draft History of the 28th Pick

Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage and podium before the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage and podium before the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

Although the history of the 28th overall selection is bleak, the Dallas Cowboys recent successes bode well for them in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Following their highly successful 2016 campaign, in which they finished the regular season sitting atop the NFC with a 13-3 record, the Dallas Cowboys must “make do” with the 28th overall selection in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. Such is the price of success.

But can the Cowboys still find draft success despite owning such a late pick in the first round? Two years ago, Dallas landed University of Connecticut defensive back Byron Jones with the 27th overall selection.

Although Jones has already had a tremendous impact on the Cowboys secondary, he has yet to be nominated for a Pro Bowl. And so far the 24-year old safety isn’t the athletic ballhawk many hoped he would become. Jones has recorded just one interception in his first two seasons in Dallas.

So, I decided to look back at the history of the 28th overall selection for the past twenty years of the draft. Here is what I found…

1997 – Denver Broncos: Trevor Pryce, DT – Clemson
1998 – San Francisco 49ers: R.W. McQuarters, CB – Oklahoma State
1999 – New England Patriots: Andy Katzenmoyer, LB – Ohio State
2000 – Indianapolis Colts: Rob Morris, LB – BYU
2001 – Oakland Raiders: Derrick Gibson, SS – Florida State
2002 – Seattle Seahawks: Jerramy Stevens, TE – Washington
2003 – Tennessee Titans: Andre Woolfolk, CB – Oklahoma
2004 – Carolina Panthers: Chris Gamble, CB – Ohio State
2005 – San Diego Chargers: Luis Castillo, DT – Northwestern
2006 – Jacksonville Jaguars: Marcedes Lewis, TE – UCLA
2007 – San Francisco 49ers: Joe Staley, OT – Central Michigan
2008 – Seattle Seahawks: Lawrence Jackson, DE – USC
2009 – Buffalo Bills: Eric Wood, C – Louisville
2010 – Miami Dolphins: Jared Odrick, DT – Penn State
2011 – New Orleans Saints: Mark Ingram Jr., RB – Alabama
2012 – Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry, LB – USC
2013 – Denver Broncos: Sylvester Williams, DT – North Carolina
2014 – Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR – Florida State
2015 – Detroit Lions: Laken Tomlinson, G – Duke
2016 – San Francisco 49ers: Joshua Garnett, G – Stanford

And here’s the breakdown of the 28th overall selections by position over the last twenty years:

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Defensive Line – 5
Offensive Line – 4
Cornerback – 3
Linebacker – 3
Tight End – 2
Running Back – 1
Safety – 1
Wide Receiver – 1

Out of the last twenty prospects selected with the 28th overall pick, only five have ever been selected to a Pro Bowl. Staley having been to the most with five. But Pryce is the most prestigious of the group, having been elected to three All-Pro teams, four Pro Bowls and he’s a two-time Super Bowl champion.

Since the NFL/AFL merger, there have only been two Hall of Famers selected with the 28th overall selection in the NFL Draft. Those players being former Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green (1983) and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks (1993). Ironically, Brooks found Super Bowl success in 2002 with current Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli serving as the Bucs’ assistant head coach and defensive line coach under Monte Kiffin.

Next: Ranking every top-10 pick in Dallas Cowboys’ history

So, according to the last twenty years, the Dallas Cowboys have a 25% chance of hitting on a future Pro Bowl player in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Although, the Cowboys may have a slightly higher likelihood of doing so as they have produced five Pro Bowl players with their last seven first round selections.