Cowboys' story without a first-round pick



This is a strange territory for your Dallas Cowboys. While in 2019 marks the 60th year the team will participate in the NFL Draft, this will be only the eighth time the Cowboys participate in the annual festivities without a selection in the first round.

When that happens, the task of replenishing the rows becomes much more difficult, since there is a reason why the players are selected within the first 30 selections. They, of course, are generally considered the best bet to become impact players in the league.

So, obviously, without that number 1 option, the Cowboys will have to work for them in Nashville, Tennessee, from April 25-27. Now they are forced to dig deeper to find maybe a needle in the haystack that can intervene and contribute quickly.

The Cowboys came to this dilemma by swapping their 2019 first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders on October 22 last season in exchange for Amari Cooper. And the movement gave immediate dividends when the receiver extended the offense, posting 725 yards and six TD touchdowns in his nine games with Dallas while helping the team to a 7-2 record, an NFC East title and a victory over the teams. Seahawks of Seattle. The wild card round of the playoffs.

But while everyone agrees that the exchange was successful, the time has come, as the saying goes, for the other shoe to fall.

So, what can we expect? What happened during the seven previous occasions when members of the Dallas division entered their war room and did not own a first round? What led to that situation and, what is more important, to the resulting draft was a success or a failure?

Let's look back at the story to see what happened. In all cases, the agreements were made with the hope of improving the Cowboys. However, whether the movements really worked or not is a completely different matter.

History: While the Cowboys began playing in 1960, they could not afford to participate in the NFL Draft that year. The event took place on November 30, 1959, two months before the official concession of the franchise to the city on January 28.

Then, on June 22, 1960, wanting a veteran presence to guide their expansion group, the trio of Tex Schramm leaders Gil Brandt and Tom Landry traded their first and sixth round picks in the 1961 draft to the Washingtons. Redskins for the Rights of Field Marshal Eddie LeBaron. Which means that when the team's first official draft came on December 27, the Cowboys no longer had what would have been the second overall pick.

Although it is hard to believe now, in those days, there was no time limit to make selections. Then, when the Cleveland Browns, who had already used the tenth overall, announced that they were now willing to trade the thirteenth option, Schramm went to negotiate an agreement, hoping to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, who were also interested. .

It took two hours, the full draft was stopped, while the two sides resolved the details.

In the end, the Cowboys traded offensive tackle Paul Dickson and his first-round pick in 1962 to get the man they had coveted: Bob Lilly out of the nearby TCU. He would continue to become one of the best players in club history. Earning the nickname, "Mr. Vaquero," he was the first Dallas player included in the Professional Football Hall of Fame, as well as the team's Ring of Honor.

Verdict: Apart from Lilly, the 1961 draft did not produce much more. Only five of the 17 Cowboys picks in that draft (remember, there were 20 rounds) on the list without any of the other four playing more than two seasons with the team.

So, does the incomparable success of a man make the entire draft a success or a failure? In retrospect, the Cowboys were more than happy with the results.

History: Of course, since Dallas had made the deal with Lilly the year before, the team was now in the same situation when the 1962 draft was released on December 4, 1961, this time losing the fourth overall selection. But unlike the previous time, the Cowboys remained calm, without going on the clock until the 18th election came on the board, which was part of the second round for the much smaller league.

Of the 15 selections the team made that year, six managed to find a place on the list, but only one really enjoyed any kind of success: defensive end George Andrie, who was selected with the second of the two sixth-round picks . He took the field for 11 years with Dallas, and for a five-year period from 1965-69, he won five consecutive invitations to the Pro Bowl and a First Team All-Pro recognition in the final season of that race.

Verdict: There were few elections after Andrie. Defensive tackle Guy Reese, who grew up in Dallas and went to SMU, led the rest of the field, earning NFL All-Rookie honors in his first season. He was a two-year starter for the Cowboys before being traded to the Baltimore Colts in 1963. But that second-round pick? Quarterback Sonny Gibbs never played a down for Dallas.

History: It would be five years before the Cowboys returned to the draft without a first-round pick, but this time it was due to a kind of penalty.

Two seasons earlier, offensive tackle All-Big 8, Ralph Neely, was selected in the second round of the NFL and AFL recruits, and the Colts and Houston Oilers claimed him as their own. But Neely had no interest in moving to the East Coast, so he signed an agreement with the Houston club.

That was before the Cowboys acquired Neely's rights on August 29, 1965. Now, wanting to be in Dallas, he basically told the Oilers, no thanks, and he returned the check. Houston, however, wanted his man and the demands soon to follow. A year later, after the two leagues merged, the Cowboys agreed to send their first, second and two fifth-round picks in the 1967 draft to the Oilers as compensation.

Without his first two picks, Dallas apparently had his hands tied and, overall, that year's draft was understandably disappointing. Of the 14 players selected, only four formed the team.

But there was a real diamond in the rough. In the seventh round, the Cowboys took the defensive side of small Fort Valley State, they were not happy with their game on the defensive front, they tested it in the tight end and finally, in 1969, they moved him to an offensive tackle. There, Rayfield Wright would become a member of the Hall of Fame.

Verdict: Although probably not as good in its entirety as Lilly's 1961 project, Wright at least provided some greatness in a 1967 sea of ​​mediocracy. And Neely showed that it was worth it, as he played 13 seasons with Dallas, winning three All-Pro honors and two trips to the Pro Bowl. He was also named to the all-60s team of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

History: The Cowboys were content to keep their first draft pick over the next decade, until a couple of player moves in 1979 forced their hand. After two consecutive trips to the Super Bowl, Dallas entered that season without two of their key pieces along the defensive line: Jethro Pugh retired after a 14-year career, all with the Cowboys, with Ed "Too Tall "Jones then shocking The team decided to leave football to try their luck in boxing.

With the window open for another championship still open, Schramm and the company decided to fill the gap by acquiring three times Pro Bowl defensive tackle John Dutton, who was involved in a contract dispute with Baltimore. The agreement was completed on October 9 and Dallas resigned its first and second round elections in the 1980 draft.

Now that it is a 12 round round, the Cowboys still had 11 picks with six at the bottom of the team list. However, the best of the group was Kurt Petersen, a defensive lineman who was chosen in the fourth round, quickly became a guard, and then played 88 games with 66 starts in six seasons.

Quarterback Gary Hogeboom, caught in the fifth round and with Timmy Newsome, took the sixth, both proved capable backs and even had initial roles later in their careers. But neither of them was really close to achieving star status.

Verdict: In the end, Dutton played nine years with the Cowboys and was a solid collaborator, although not spectacular. But was it worth the high price? The fall of the Cowboys in the 1980s has often been linked to a minor effort in the writing, and the lack of their two best draft picks at this year's festivities certainly played an important role.

Add the fact that Jones returned from his pugilistic period next year and questioning the movement seems like an easy endeavor.

History: Even though the Cowboys became known as "Wheeler-and-Dealers" in the early years of the Jerry Jones era, and in fact were not afraid to trade, the team always managed to enter the draft with at least one selection. First round.

However, that trend came to an end in 2000. And as happened in 1980, it was a case where the team might try to fill a hole while the window for a championship was still open.

The beginning of the Triplets' end had already begun, since wide receiver Michael Irvin suffered a career injury during the 1999 season. In need of a new scoring threat to join quarterback Troy Aikman and runner Emmitt Smith, The Cowboys signed an agreement with Seattle on February 12, 2000. Dallas sent the Seahawks their first-round picks in both the 2000 and 2001 draft in exchange for speedy widener Joey Galloway.

As the team also changed its third-round pick, the Cowboys now only had five picks in the seven-round draft. Four of them were used to catch defensive players.

In fact, only one proved worthwhile, since Mario Edwards played in 74 games for Dallas in four seasons with 47 starts. Somewhat surprising, it was actually the third corner that the team took in that draft. Neither Dwayne Goodrich nor the fourth round pick, Kareem Larrimore, never had a good result.

Verdict: In retrospect, this became one of the worst exchanges in the history of the Cowboys, because Galloway suffered a knee injury in his first game with the team and missed the rest of the season. Eventually he played four more years in Dallas, but with Aikman retiring after the 2000 season, Galloway never lived up to high expectations.

Rubbing salt on the wounds, with the Cowboys 'first-round pick, Seattle chose running back Shaun Alexander, who surpbaded 1,000 yards five times in his career to become the Seahawks' career leader.

History: Rinse and repeat. After recovering from Galloway's injury in his inaugural season in Dallas, the Cowboys had no choice but to enter the 2001 draft without a first round. But then they traded in the second round, sending what would have been the 37th pick to Indianapolis in exchange for the 52nd pick. In turn, this was sent to the Miami Dolphins for the 56th election when Dallas moved again.

But thanks to an exchange with New Orleans, the Cowboys jumped again and finally set off in 53rd place. There, Dallas surprised many by grabbing quarterback Quincy Carter. That was followed by security selection Tony Dixon with that 56th pick.

For 2003, Carter had Dallas back in the playoffs, but after another year full of injuries, he was out of the league. Dixon also lasted only four seasons, but served primarily as a defensive backup and special teamer.

Verdict: The Cowboys actually had nine picks in 2001, but apart from the year of flash on Carter's plate, none brought much more to the team than depth. It was a disappointing second consecutive draft effort.

History: Once again, the Cowboys made an unfortunate attempt to fill a gap in the pursuit of a championship. The 2007 season saw the team finish an impressive 13-3 record, only to be upset at home in the second round by the eventual Super Bowl champion, the New York Giants.

Needing another goal for quarterback Tony Romo in the middle of the 2008 season, and perhaps already knowing that this would be the last year in which Terrell Owens would be with the team, the Cowboys acquired receiver Roy Williams of the Lions on 14 October 2008. Receiving a seventh round pick in the 2009 draft, Dallas sent Detroit to its first, third and sixth rounds in that same 2009 draft.

But despite not having a first-round pick, the Cowboys then swapped their second-round pick on draft day, meaning they were not on the clock until the third round, 69 in all. Thanks to a series of additional exchanges, Dallas actually finished with 12 selections in 2009, but only six eventually reached the team. And actually only one, linebacker Victor Butler, became a regular contributor, playing four seasons and appearing in 63 games, mainly as a special team player.

Tight end John Phillips, with chips in the sixth round, had 20 starts and 48 games played in three seasons with the Cowboys and was still in the NFL last year. But with Jason Witten ahead in the depth chart, his impact on Dallas was minimal.

Verdict: As long as the annual selection process is described as a "draft of special teams," the results are likely not to be good. And of course, this turned out to be the favorite for the poorest draft in the history of the Cowboys.

And if the Galloway swap was not the worst of the team annals, this Williams deal certainly was, as it turned out to be a failure. Five games in the 2009 season, he was overtaken by Miles Austin as the main threat to the team and then only started nine of his 15 games in 2010, the last in Dallas.

In reality, none of these seven projects without a first round selection turned out to be particularly good in general, although in some years individual greatness was discovered. Which means the Cowboys certainly face a risky proposition when they head to the NFL 2019 Draft.

In fact, a verdict on the success or failure of both the exchange and the selection of the team will not be decided for several years. But from now on, one thing is for sure: Fan can certainly be happy with what the Cowboys claim as their number one pick this year … Amari Cooper.


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