The NFL Draft, unlike any other non-game-related event, seems to bring out the most emotion in football fans. For followers of the Dallas Cowboys, depending on who you speak with, this organization is either famously good at drafting or famously good at drafting the wrong players.
History always gets revisionist when it comes to the draft. No one is immune to looking back and wishing their team would have chosen “Player B” after a couple of years of “Player A” not living up to expectation.
Most of the time, at that precise moment of selection, fans seem to like their team’s pick… until they don’t anymore. Of course, there is always the rare dude (*cough* Taco Charlton *cough*) that everyone seems to know immediately.
Thursday will mark just the tenth time in 45 years that the Dallas Cowboys will be choosing a player within the first ten picks of the draft. That statistic alone means that this team has done pretty well at not being one of the worst teams in the league, which is, of course, a good thing.
What matters more, however, is how the decisions made in those previous nine instances have fared. When you have a selection that high in the draft, you better nail it. At a minimum, it is fair to expect that a top ten pick is a better than average starter that you have on your roster for a long time.
Ideally, a top ten pick should be a cornerstone of your franchise. That player should make a few Pro Bowls, maybe even be an All-Pro a couple of times. Of course, if that player is a major reason your franchise wins a championship or becomes a Hall of Famer, you’ve definitely made the right call.
Let’s take this time to review the previous nine top ten picks since 1976 and see just how well the Dallas Cowboys have done in this position.