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
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1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, California: Green Bay Packers (2005)

2005 was yet another loaded draft class and the Cowboys went into the weekend with two picks to work with. They landed a Hall of Famer at No. 11 in DeMarcus Ware and could have really pulled off a massive win had they taken Aaron Rodgers at No. 20. Bill Parcells decided not to do this, however, and took Marcus Spears from LSU instead.

Parcells wanted to build a powerful defense and while Spears was a good player, Rodgers went on to have a sensational career and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Hindsight is 20/20 and several other teams passed on Rodgers.

Again, there were some great players such as Ware, Shawne Merriman, Thomas Davis, and Heath Miller. But if teams were honest, every team ahead of the Green Bay Packers would have taken Rodgers if given a mulligan.

Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for three seasons before taking over in 2008. His first campaign was good with 4,038 yards passing and 28 touchdowns but the Packers were just 6-10. In his second year as the starter, Rodgers took off.

He led the Packers to at least 10 wins in seven of the next eight campaigns with the only outlier being 2013. That year, he only played nine games due to injury but they were 6-3 with him under center.

Rodgers wound up playing for 18 years with the Packers and they were 147-75-1 with him as the starter. He put up 59,055 yards which is second in franchise history behind Favre. He did pass his predecessor on the touchdown list, however, with 475 (while throwing a mere 105 interceptions compared to 286 for Favre).

In 2023, Rodgers was traded to the New York Jets but suffered an Achilles injury after four snaps. He's returning for his 20th season in the NFL and is one of the best to ever play the game, making him the easy choice for the top player taken at this spot.

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