Dallas Cowboys: 5 First Round Talents in 2 Years

May 6, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys number one draft pick Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs drills during rookie minicamp at Dallas Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys number one draft pick Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs drills during rookie minicamp at Dallas Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

 The Dallas Cowboys are loaded with young talent on both sides of the ball, ushering in a youth movement that will keep them competitive for a long time.

Since 2010, the Cowboys have drafted several first round picks who became heavy contributors to the team. It started with the Cowboys drafting wide receiver Dez Bryant out of Oklahoma State in the first round of the 2010 draft.

Because Bryant lied to NCAA investigators about his relationship to former NFL star Deion Sanders, the college standout was ineligible for the remainder of his junior season. As a result, Bryant fell from a top-10 selection, and the Cowboys drafted him with the 24th pick of the first round.

That was the beginning of the Cowboys drafting young, talented players, especially players who had fell into their lap, like Bryant. The super talented wide out is one of the best receivers in the NFL, having recorded 59 touchdowns in six NFL seasons.

If not for an injury prone 2015 season, Bryant touchdown total would have increased. Bryant is just one of several, young players drafted by the Cowboys.

What team is lucky enough to draft one top-five talent, let alone two?

Since drafting the All Pro receiver, the Cowboys have drafted Pro Bowlers like offensive linemen Tyron Smith (2011), Travis Frederick (2013), Zack Martin (2014), and potential Pro Bowlers like  defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford (2012), Demarcus Lawrence (2014), Randy Gregory and defensive back Byron Jones (2015).

The offensive linemen are considered the best in the NFL, while the defensive players are up and coming players, especially Jones, who is versatile enough playing either the corner or safety saftey position.

It gets better with the Cowboys culture of youth.

Dallas has drafted players who have made some big plays for the team over the years or depending on them to do similarily in the future: wide receivers, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Lucky Whitehead, and Devin Street, tight ends Gavin Escobar and James Hanna, running back Lance Dunbar, linebackers Sean Lee, Kyle Wilber, and Damien Wilson, cornerback Terrance Mitchell, and kicker Dan Bailey.

The Cowboys continued the trend this year by drafting Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott, Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith, Maliek Collins out of Nebraska, and Oklahoma Sooners Charles Tapper. All of these studs are expected to contribute immediately except for Smith, who is recovering from a torn ACL and LCL injury he suffered to Elliott’s Buckeyes in a Fiesta Bowl lost.

Some of these players were free agent pickups, like Beasley, Whitehead, and La’el Collins, who was a top-five player before going undrafted because the Baton Rouge Police questioned him about the murder of his former girlfriend.

Further, Collins was not charged in the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

The best part is that the Cowboys are racking up first round talent-like players with first round grades like it did in the 1990’s when Dallas was loaded with first round picks. To select first round talents like Elliott and Smith in the same draft is beyond real. Smith was considered a top-five talent before his unfortunate injury.

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I don’t believe people understand the significance of selecting Elliott and Smith in the same draft. What team is lucky enough to draft one top-five talent, let alone two?

When you add in offensive lineman Collins and Gregory from the 2014 draft class, the Cowboys have drafted or signed four top-10 players in the last two seasons. To put this in perspective, all four players were viewed as cornerstones for any football franchise.

In the 2015 draft, offensive lineman Collins was rated the best at his  position, and Gregory was believed to be one of the top edge rushers. If Gregory can stay off of the cannabis or whatever drug it is, and play to his full potential, the Cowboys will have a lethal pass rusher and an outstanding defense with Smith anchoring the linebacking corps.

In the secondary, defensive back Jones will improve in his second season and help Orlando Scandrick create some well deserved turnovers.

Meanwhile, Elliott will run the rock behind Collins, Tyron Smith, Martin, and Frederick, while quarterback Tony Romo throws touchdown passes to Bryant, Williams, Jason Witten, Beasley, and Streeter.

The Cowboys are winning with a youth movement, where the players are no where near age 30. It’s the same blueprint owner and general manager Jerry Jones followed when Dallas won three Super Bowls in four years with head coach Jimmy Johnson.

Next: Prediction: Randy Gregory Will Be Banished from NFL

Maybe, just maybe, we are witnessing the rebirth of another Dallas Cowboys dynasty.

Or at least another Super Bowl winning team in the making.