Five Facts About the Dallas Cowboys’ 2016 Draft

Below are five facts about the 2016 draft class for the Cowboys.

  • Jaylon Smith (2nd round) is the first Notre Dame linebacker the Cowboys have ever selected in the draft. He is the tenth Notre Dame player the Cowboys have ever taken in the draft and the first since guard Zack Martin in the first round of the 2014 draft.
  • Maliek Collins is the second defensive lineman from Nebraska to have been selected by the Cowboys. The only other was Danny Noonan in 1987.
  • Charles Tapper is likewise the second defensive lineman from Oklahoma taken by the Cowboys in a draft. The first was Dave Hudgens (3rd round, 1978), who never played a down in the NFL. The Cowboys did have former Sooner Tony Casillas on the line in the 1990s, but he was a free agent signing.
  • Dak Prescott is the first quarterback selected by Dallas since 2009 (Stephen McGee, 4th round) and only the fifth since since Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 (not counting Isaiah Stanback in 2007, given that he was immediately converted to receiver). The five quarterbacks: Troy Aikman (1989), Bill Musgrave (1991), Quincy Carter (2001), McGee (2009), and Prescott.
  • By comparison, Rico Gathers is the 17th tight end taken by Dallas since 1989. Incidentally, selecting a college basketball player in the NFL draft is not unprecedented in the history of the Cowboys. In 1967, Dallas selected Pat Riley from Kentucky in the 11th round of the draft. Unlike Gathers, Riley played both basketball and football at Kentucky before playing professional basketball.


Lots of debate over the Cowboys’ selection of Ezekiel Elliott as the #4 overall pick. At least one person (well, more than that) was happy:

A fair question is how the Cowboys will distribute carries between Elliott, Darren McFadden, and Alfred Morris. This kind of looks like the Eagles’ backfield last year, and we know that didn’t work well.

Dallas Cowboys, 1st Round: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

No secret now that the Cowboys used the #4 overall pick to take Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Earlier in the day, it appeared that the Chargers might take Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey. This would have all but guaranteed that Dallas would take Elliott.

The Chargers instead took Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa, so there was some suspense when the Cowboys were on the board.

Dallas decided to pair Elliott with one of the best offensive lines in football. Ramsey went to Jacksonville at #5.

A few facts:

  • Elliott is the sixth running back taken by Dallas in the first round of a draft. He is the first since the Cowboys took Felix Jones with the #22 overall pick in 2008.
  • Among the six running backs previously taken by Dallas in the first round, Elliott was taken second highest. The highest pick used for a running back was #2 to draft Tony Dorsett in the first round of the 1977 draft.
  • Elliott was the 12th player taken by Dallas from Ohio State and the first since the Cowboys took Bobby Carpenter wit the #18 pick in 2006.
  • Previous Ohio State running backs (and fullbacks) taken by Dallas in the draft include Ron Springs (1979), Nicky Sualua (1997), Michael Wiley (2000), and Jamar Martin (2002).

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