With the 2022 NFL Draft getting closer, how about we take a peek at the past? The Dallas Cowboys have had a knack for drafting well and they’ve continued that through the 2010s, and sometimes it’s nice to look back at what worked out well.
America’s Team currently sits at No. 7 all-time in Hall of Famers drafted with 19, so it’s fair to say they’re pretty good at this drafting thing. Obviously, drafting well has been key to this franchise’s success, as it’s brought five Super Bowls to Dallas.
These rankings are slightly opinionated but are also dependent on the draft pick value, accolades, time with the team, etc. I also did not include players with less than five seasons with the team, so someone like Micah Parsons or Alvin Harper are not applicable to this list. Let’s get started!
The 20 best draft picks in Dallas Cowboys History
No. 20 and No. 19
This may be a surprise to some, and maybe it is just recency bias, but Dak Prescott has to be given credit where it’s due. Prescott was asked to do a lot right out of the gate, and he has done nothing short of delivering for this team.
The Mississippi State quarterback was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cowboys, and it couldn’t have been a better pick as he was the only QB to stick with his current team to this point. He burst onto the scene by leading the Cowboys to the playoffs and winning Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Prescott has 22,083 passing yards, 143 touchdowns, and just 50 interceptions to his name, along with three Pro Bowls in five seasons. It’s not just about the stats with Prescott, but it’s also about how the team wins with him. The star QB owns his division and has a 53-32 record since he was drafted.
Drafting a franchise quarterback in the fourth round is not something that happens often. The amazing pick value along with being among the top 10 quarterbacks since his rookie year is just enough to put him into the top 20 for me.
Another more recent pick is Tyron Smith, who lands at 19. While Smith was expected to fare well at left tackle, his ability to stay among the top three left tackles for many years is too great to ignore.
Smith was drafted in 2011 as the ninth pick and has managed to be the mainstay at left tackle since then. Throughout his career to this point, the star lineman has racked up eight Pro Bowls, two first-team All-Pro selections, and two second-team All-Pro selections.
While he has struggled with injuries as of late, Smith is still one of the most dominant left tackles in the league. The future Hall of Famer has a lot to be proud of as his time as a Cowboy begins to wind down.