Best draft-day steals by the Dallas Cowboys of all-time: 5. Rayfield Wright
1967 NFL Draft: Round 7, Pick No. 182
When Rayfield Wright landed at Fort Valley State, the plan was to become a basketball star, which he did. However, the school’s football coach ended up getting him to come out for football, which he did. When all was said and done, the coach had become a father figure to Wright, and he had turned himself into an NFL prospect.
While it took a while for Wright to get drafted in the 1967 NFL Draft, the Cowboys eventually tabbed him with the No. 182 overall pick that year. For a seventh-round pick, Wright certainly had himself an incredible NFL career, one that culminated with him being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Wright played nearly his entire career with Dallas, a span of 14 seasons. It was the only team with whom he appeared in a regular season game. Playing for Dallas from 1967 to 1979, Wright played all over the field during his first three seasons with the team, playing both sides of the ball, before settling in on the offensive line.
From 1971 to 1976, Wright was a constant in the Pro Bowl. He was named as at least a First or Second-Team All-Pro in each of those seasons as well. The 1972 NFLPA Offensive Lineman of the Year, Wright helped the Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles during his career in Dallas. He was named a member of the franchise’s 25th Anniversary Team.
For his efforts, Wright was not only named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, but he was also placed in the Cowboys Ring of Honor. Like Leon Lett, Wright’s nickname during his time with the team was “Big Cat,” and like Lett, he goes down as one of the bigger draft steals in team history.