Even though the odds are not in their favor, the Dallas Cowboys can once again find another first round gem by sticking with their current process.
The Cowboys, however, have done fairly well, especially of late when in such a position.
Over the last four seasons, Dallas has twice been in a position to draft a player with the 27th pick or later. Twice, they have been able to land a starter. In 2013, they were able to pick up center Travis Frederick with the 31st pick. Two years later, they drafted safety Byron Jones at 27.
Jones has been a part of every game in his brief two year career. Frederick, meanwhile, has become one of, if not the best, center in all of football. With three Pro Bowl selections and an All-Pro choice already in the bag, it’s hard to argue otherwise.
Most teams, however, are not as fortunate to find consistent, top-shelf talent when drafting so late.
Since 2010, there have been 41 selections at the 27th spot or later (last year New England forfeit their 32nd overall pick). Of those 41, only seven started as a rookie and have kept that job their entire time in the league.
Frederick is the rare late round selection that is so good he becomes an All-Pro.
Only Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin and former Viking now Raider Cordarrelle Patterson have done so over the last seven seasons. For Patterson, his talents have almost single-handedly come as a returner in the kicking game.
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Nine players have been able to put together at least one season good enough to be an option for the Pro-Bowl. Frederick, once again, leads the way with three selections. Martin and Patterson have both been named to that honor twice. Two other safeties, Minnesota’s Harrison Smith and the Patriots Devin McCourty have as well.
If you’re looking for a more consistent bright spot, there is this tidbit. Of those 41 selections, only three are no longer in the league.
Also of note, just because you’re not an All-Pro or a Pro-Bowl caliber player does not mean you can’t be a solid contributor.
If the Cowboys have one advantage, they do have one of the best eye’s for talent in Will McClay. As the Senior Director of player personnel and one of the four voices in the “War Room,” McClay has brought top end talent to Dallas.
The Cowboys have chosen three All-Pro’s in the last four day one selections. The other is a solid starter. No matter how the board falls on Thursday, April 27, Dallas Cowboys fans can feel confident that this team will make the right call.