When it comes to the NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys have proven to select the right players. America’s Team is using the draft to build a dynasty.
The last time the Dallas Cowboys were drafting elite players on a consistent basis George H.W. Bush (the elder Bush) was the President, and I had a full head of hair.
We all know how Johnson took those picks and drafted a combination of perennial Pro Bowlers and really good players. In a three year span, Johnson drafted the likes of Emmitt Smith, Jimmie Jones, Kenneth Gant, Russell Maryland, Alvin Harper, Erik Williams, Leon Lett, Dixon Edwards, Kelvin Pritchett, Godfrey Myles, Larry Brown, Darren Woodson, Kevin Smith and Clayton Holmes.
Needless to say, all of these players were starters and contributors on three Super Bowl winning teams.
Johnson built a dynasty for the ages. Fair or not, Jerry Jones deserves credit for at least answering the telephone during those draft years, pretending to be a general manager.
Fast forward to 2017, and this current Cowboys organization is doing its best to build another dynasty through the draft. With assistant director of player personnel Will McClay leading the way, and doing the majority of the leg work, the Cowboys are in position to be relevant for years to come.
Add Stephen Jones to the decision making process, and the Cowboys are drafting smart and developing their own philosophy. Dallas is literally using the draft to get better, and being patient in the process.
In 2016, for example, Dallas had one of its best drafts yet. They selected Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith, Maliek Collins, Charles Tapper, Dak Prescott, Anthony Brown, Kavon Frazier, Darius Jackson (no longer on the team), and Rico Gathers.
Elliott and Dak made it to the Pro Bowl as rookies and are the future offensive cornerstones. On the defensive side of the ball, Collins and Brown proved that they can play and have potential to be Pro Bowlers.
Much is expected of Smith and Tapper, both on injured reserve last season. Frazier is expected to compete for the safety position, and the coaching staff is high on Gathers. Basically, Dallas went 13-3 with a very young team, including their massive offensive line.
Speaking of their offensive line, Dallas has done a fantastic job of drafting offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Chaz Green, and signing La’el Collins to a free agent contract.
More from Dallas Cowboys
- West coast, Texas coast, burnt toast: Cowboys don’t need more runs
- Brandin Cooks will change the way defenses play the Dallas Cowboys
- Why the Dallas Cowboys defensive X-Factor is EDGE Sam Williams
- Dallas Cowboys: 3 head coach options if McCarthy fails in 2023
- Dallas Cowboys: Is CB Jourdan Lewis a tradeable asset?
Plus, Dallas has drafted players like Byron Jones, Damien Wilson, Randy Gregory, Geoff Swaim, and signed Lucky Whitehead to a rookie free agent contract, too. All of these players has contributed and are expected to get better.
If Gregory can stay off suspension, Dallas will have one hell of a pass rusher to go along with a dynamic linebacking corps of Wilson, Smith and Sean Lee.
The good news is that all of these players have come through the draft, not from any flashy and expensive free agent signing. Not only are Dallas drafting good players but they are developing them, too. Wilson is going to be a decent player, and proves it every time he hits the field.
Wilson will be starting along side Lee next season. He’s an up and coming player.
Since 2010, when Dallas selected Dez Bryant, this team has drafted a Pro Bowler every year except for 2012 and 2015. However, that can change because Jones is part of the 2015 draft class and there’s time for him to get better and make the Pro Bowl.
McClay and Jones are laying down the foundation of something special, something unique.
That’s more than awesome because it shows that America’s Team is headed in the right direction, towards another Super Bowl winning dynasty.