5 best No. 24 overall picks in NFL Draft history: Cowboys sitting pretty

History suggests the Dallas Cowboys can land a stud at No. 24
Dallas Cowboys v Green Bay Packers
Dallas Cowboys v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
3 of 5

3. Steven Jackson, RB, Oregon State: St. Louis Rams (2004)

Again, this one had ties to the Dallas Cowboys — who had the 22nd pick. Just four years before passing on Chris Johnson with the 22nd pick only to watch him go at No. 24, the Cowboys did the same with Steven Jackson — who also went two picks later.

Dallas didn't draft another running back in favor of Jackson, which doesn't make the miss feel any better. Instead, Bill Parcells traded down with the Buffalo Bills, who took J.P. Losman. Dallas then added Julius Jones from Notre Dame at No. 43 and wound up with Marcus Spears the following year. In all, they did fine but taking Jackson would have been the superior move.

Jackson was an absolute bruiser at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds. The St. Louis Rams moved up for Jackson who turned into the focal point of their offense for the better part of nine seasons. He topped 1,000 yards eight times for the Rams and was nearly as dangerous as a receiver.

In 2006, he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2,334 thanks to gaining 1,528 on the ground and 806 through the air. Jackson finished his impressive career by spending two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and one with the New England Patriots. He had 11,438 yards on the ground and 3,683 as a receiver with 78 career touchdowns.

Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl three times and was a two-time Second-Team All-Pro. In all honesty, he should have been given more accolades but playing for the Rams during several years of futility might have hindered him in that regard.