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I spent Saturday losing at a jiu jitsu tournament, so I missed watching the final day of the draft. Most are saying that the Cowboys were very conservative with this draft class, so expectations are not very high. We’ll see.
Here are ten facts about this year’s draft class.
- Until 2014, the Cowboys had never taken a Notre Dame player in the first round of the draft. Zack Martin is the third offensive lineman the Cowboys have selected from Notre Dame. The other two were Phil Pozderac (5th round, 1982) and Sam Young (6th round, 2010).
- Between 1960 and 2010, the Cowboys used three first-round picks on offensive linemen (John Niland, Robert Shaw, and Howard Richards). Three of the team’s last four first-round picks have been offensive linemen.
- Most are aware that the Cowboys drafted Orlando Scandrick and Tyrone Crawford from Boise State, the college of second-round pick Demarcus Lawrence. The team drafted two others in the 1970s. RB John Smith (1976) never played a down in the NFL. However, CB Rolly Woolsey was part of the Dirty Dozen of the 1975 Draft. He played one year for the Cowboys before moving on to play for three more teams over the next three seasons.
- Until taking LB Anthony Hitchens with the 119th overall pick, the Cowboys had not drafted a player from Iowa in 30 years. The last player was RB Norm Granger (1984), who played in 15 games as a rookie but did not play in the NFL after that except as a replacement player in 1987.
- The Cowboys had some good fortune with picks from Pittsburgh, taking Tony Dorsett in 1977 and Mark Stepnoski in 1989. Other picks, though, were less impressive. These include Curvin Richards (1991), Antonio Bryant (2002), and Rob Petitti (2005). Bryant and fifth-round pick Devin Street are the only receivers the Cowboys have taken from Pitt.
- Dallas did well with picks from Stanford in the 1970s, finding Scott Laidlaw (1975), Pat Donovan (1975), and Tony Hill (1977). Blaine Nye (1968) was also from Stanford. However, the last Stanford selection before Ben Gardner in 2014 was guard Matt Moran in 1985. Moran never played in the NFL.
- The Cowboys have taken eight players from Texas Tech, including linebacker Will Smith in 2014. However, only three of the previous picks ever played a down in the NFL. One of these three includes E.J. Holub, who was a five-time Pro Bowler with the AFL’s Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. The other two were Brandon Williams (2009) and Jamar Wall (2010). Only Williams ever played for the Cowboys.
- The Cowboys went with a Baylor player for the second year in a row, taking safety Ahmad Dixon with the 248th pick. He joines Terrance Williams, a third-round selection in 2013. Others from Baylor included guard Kelvin Garmon (1999), corner Ron Francis (1987), guard Bob Crenshaw (1964), and linebacker Sonny Davis (1961).
- Ken Bishop is only the second player the Cowboys have taken from Northern Illinois. The other was Doug Free in 2007.
- The Cowboys struck out on most of their previous picks from Oregon, the college that seventh-round pick Terrance Mitchell attended. The exception was Hall-of-Famer Mel Renfro.
The Dallas Cowboys have won a single playoff game between 1997 and right now. That occurred in 2009 when the team beat the visiting Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs.
Members of the 2008 draft class were rather prominent in the victory.
Felix Jones (1st round in 2008) carried the ball 16 times for 148 yards and helped to put the game on ice with a 73-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Tashard Choice (4th round in 2008) helped in the effort, carrying the ball 14 times for 42 yards with a touchdown.
The other first-round pick from 2008, Mike Jenkins, recorded an interception.
Martellus Bennett (2nd round in 2008) and Orlando Scandrick (5th round) weren’t as prominent in the 2009 playoffs, but both of the played roles.
Now it’s 2013. Choice and Bennett have been gone for some time.
Sixth-round pick Erik Walden never played a down in Dallas but became a starter in Green Bay.
Now it looks like Jones and Jenkins will leave the team via free agency. They are among five free agents the Cowboys will likely lose according to the Dallas Morning News.
Second-year running back Felix Jones, taken in the first round of the 2008 draft, took a pitch to the left and raced 49 yards for a touchdown. That effectively ended the game.
One week later, the Cowboys hosted the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs. It marked the first playoff game at Cowboys Stadium.
Jones again broke the game wide open in the third quarter when he scored on a 73-yard touchdown run. He finished the day with 148 rushing yards. Another 2008 pick, Tashard Choice, scored in the second quarter to give Dallas a 14-7 lead.
Yet another first-round pick from 2008, Mike Jenkins, snagged an interception in the second half. A fifth-round pick from 2008, Orlando Scandrick, helped in a secondary that mostly shut down the Eagles.
Dallas won, 34-14.
Okay, so what’s my point? Well, let’s look at what the Cowboys have done since beating the Eagles in the playoffs on January 9, 2010.
* The Cowboys barely showed up in a 34-3 loss at Minnesota in the second round of the playoffs.
* The Cowboys’ overall record since January 9, 2010: 16-21.
* Since scoring on long touchdown runs in back-to-back games at the end of the 2009 season, Jones has scored a total of three touchdowns. He has not scored since the opening week of the 2011 season.
* Since rushing for more than 100 yards in back-to-back weeks in 2009, he has rushed for more than 100 yards a total of four times. He has 13 rushing yards in four games in 2012.
* Since Jenkins intercepted the pass against the Eagles on January 9, 2010, he has had a total of two interceptions. That is the same total as Orlando Scandrick during that time.
* Draft picks Choice, Martellus Bennett, and Eric Walden now play for other teams. Although Choice hasn’t done much, Bennett has three touchdown receptions for the Giants, and Walden has been a part-time starter with the Packers.
There have been plenty of things that have gone wrong since the promising end to the 2009 season. The entire 2009 draft was a monumental failure, thanks in large part to a terrible trade for Roy Williams. Several key players aged quickly, leading to the current rebuilding effort.
The 2008 draft class, though, certainly hasn’t helped matters. Those players showed so much promise only to regress almost immediately.