The Cowboys appear to be getting set to shore up the defensive side of the ball hard thru the draft. The Cowboys have been compiling a list of a who’s-who’s with the top pass rushers and cornerbacks in this year’s draft class.
We know the Cowboys can draft offensive lineman with a perfect hit ratio, but will the same prove for the defensive side of the ball.
Let’s look at the Cowboys 1st selections from each respective draft since 2003.
(HIT) (MISS) (ADEQUATE)
JASON GARRETT (2011 – current)
2016 Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
2015 Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut (TBD)
2014 Zack Martin, OG, Notre Dame
2013 Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
2012 Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
2011 Tyron Smith, OT, USC
- Under Garrett, 4 of the 6 picks are hits
- 67% Hit rate
- Under Garret, 2 of the 6 picks are defense, 1 Miss, 1 Adequate (TBD)
- You could say under Garrett the defensive picks in the 1st round are 0 for 2, depending on how you feel about Byron at this point, maybe it’s more like .50 for 2. The jury is still out on Byron, and he needs a breakout season if wants the Cowboys to pickup his 5th year option. As it stands now, I’m not so sure they do.
- Will McClay took more of a lead role in scouting and helping out with the draft from 2011-2013. In 2014, McClay was promoted to Assistant Director of Player Personnel and currently taking lead on the draft board.
WADE PHILLIPS (2007 – 2010)
2010 Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
2009 Jason Williams, LB, Western Illinois
2008 Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
2007 Anthony Spencer, DE, Purdue
- Under Phillips, 1 of 4 picks are hits
- 25% hit rate
- Under Phillips, 2 of 4 picks are defense; 1 miss and 1 adequate
- Spencer had potential, but injuries hounded him throughout, unreliable
- Jason Williams was a gigantic miss, a virtual unknown drafted off his combine measurables and part of the notorious 2009 draft class
- Felix Jones was a 1st round bust
BILL PARCELLS (2003 – 2006)
2006 Bobby Carpenter, LB, Ohio State
2005 Demarcus Ware, DE, Troy
2004 Julius Jones, RB, Notre Dame
2003 Terence Newman, CB, Kansas State
- Under Parcells, 2 of 4 picks are hits
- 50% hit rate
- Under Parcells, 3 of 4 picks are defense; 2 hits and 1 miss
- Julius Jones was adequate, but did not strike fear in opposing defenses
- DeMarcus Ware is a 1st ballot Hall of Famer and perhaps Parcells’ best draft pick ever
- Bobby Carpenter was a total bust
So, looking at the numbers, Jason Garrett has enjoyed more success with his 1st selections than his predecessors. The only blemishes unfortunately look to be on defense.
Morris Claiborne was a total bust, and Byron Jones has yet to have a breakout season and been inconsistent when covering tight ends.
Is drafting defense the chink in Will McClay’s armor? or is it just with defensive backs?
We’re about to find out if McClay’s magic can translate bigtime on the defensive side of the ball this year. We should be going heavy defense, so we need to hit on a few guys.