News today is that the New England Patriots signed former Cowboys linebacker Bobby Carpenter. He was a first-round pick in 2006 but never did much of anything in Dallas.
In honor of Bobby, and as part of the Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes series, here are three quotes about former first-round busts.
“[He] is vitally important to the future of the club. This year he would have helped us, or will if he comes back.”
Tom Landry about Tody Smith, the team’s first-round pick in the 1971 draft. Landry made this statement in August 1972 after Smith walked out of camp. Smith returned and played in ten games in 1972. Dallas traded him to Houston in 1973. Thanks to that trade, the Cowboys had the first overall pick in the 1974 Draft and used it to take Ed “Too Tall” Jones.
Smith was the brother of Bubba Smith of the Baltimore Colts. Tody Smith played through the 1976 season.
Source: Milwaukee Journal, August 4, 1972
“If we wanted to be sure we were right we would have chosen somebody else. There were other more solid picks. We were impressed with his movement during a tryout camp we had down here.”
Landry about Rod Hill, whom the Cowboys took with the 25th overall pick in 1982. Landry’s rather strange comment was in response to concerns about Hill’s ankle, which cost Hill three games at Kentucky State the previous year. Dallas liked Hill’s upside.
Hill returned a total of 34 punts and 14 kickoffs in two seasons. He also had two interceptions in 1983, his final year in Dallas. He played with the Bills, Lions, and Raiders between 1984 and 1987.
Source: The Bonham Daily Favorite, April 28, 1982
“I can bring a lot of different things to the table.”
Bobby Carpenter after the Cowboys drafted him with the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft. Carpenter never developed as a starter and only lasted four seasons in Dallas.
Source: DallasCowboys.com, May 6, 2006
Did You Know?
The Cowboys did not miss out on much in the 1982 draft. The players who went after Hill were Glen Collins (Cincinnati) and Lester Williams (New England), neither of whom had solid careers. The best player taken in the second round that year was linebacker Andre Tippett, who became a Hall of Famer in New England.
The Cowboys really could have used players available in 1971 and 2006, though.
Players available in 1971 after the Cowboys took Smith in the first round: linebacker Jack Ham (Pittsburgh) and tackle Dan Dierdorf (St. Louis). The Patriots also picked up Julius Adams, who was a 12-year starter.
As for the players taken after Carpenter in 2006? Antonio Cromartie, Tamba Hali, Laurence Maroney, Manny Lawson, Davin Joseph, Santonio Holmes, DeAngelo Williams, Marcedes Lewis, Nick Mangold, Joseph Addai, and Mathias Kiwanuka. There were plenty of others available later, including Maurice Jones-Drew, Devin Hester, and Jahri Evans.
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: The Leon Lett Incidents (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: The Story of the 1971 Dallas Cowboys (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: The Bill Parcells Era (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: Tom Landry’s Innovations (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- Earliest history of the Dallas Cowboys (examiner.com)