Matt Mosley had a chart up comparing the Steelers and Miami drafts over the years.
It also included the NFL average for starters from each draft class, which made me wonder how we compare.
Here's the NFL average starters by draft year, and how the Cowboys stack up:
2007 1.2 0 (Spencer, Anderson, Folk)
2006 2.5 0 (Watkins)
2005 1.9 5 = Ware, Spears, Barber, Canty, Ratliff (Burnett, Petitti)
2004 1.9 3 = Crayton, Reeves, Julius Jones
2003 1.5 4 = Newman, Witten, James ++Romo
2002 1.0 2 = Williams, Gurode
2001 0.7 0
2000 0.4 0
1999 0.2 0
1998 0.4 2 = Ellis, Adams
1997 0.1 0
1996 0.3 0
We have 15 starters (can't count BOTH JJ and MB3), while the average is 12.1
Throw in the other 4 guys that have at one point started and are regularly helping us (obviously, Petitti is long gone), and you can see how the '02 - '05 drafts are the reason we are doing so well. You can also see why we were so horrible given the 6 earlier drafts.
The 2006 draft proves the adage of reserving judgement for 3 years; it's too early to write the final judgement on Fasano, Hatcher, Watkins, McQuistan, and even Carpenter. The same is also true for the 2007 draft, with Marten, Stanback, Free and even Ball still capable of becoming big contributors.
As for the class of '05, it is year 3, and so fair to start drawing conclusions. The biggest question mark remains Spears. Beyond this, perennial all-pro Ware, bruiser Barber, up-and-coming Canty and the manster Ratliff are all great contributors. Burnett is a consistent contributor, and seems to be improving each year. This seems to be the draft we'll all be pointing to as the heart of this Cowboys Team.