Our continuing series looking at the Top 10 Biggest Draft Successes Of The Jerry Jones Era rolls on with #5. The guidelines - Must have been drafted during Jerry Jones' era (1989 - present), and generally needs to be a player chosen in the 3rd round or later. Anybody above that was expected to succeed. It's not a list of the best players, but a list of the best value to the team, based on contributions and when they were drafted. Also, certain intangibles can be thrown into the mix.
5. Larry Brown (1991, 12th round, #320, CB, Texas Christian)
Larry Brown, at #5? You say we're crazy, we say we're crazy about 12th-round picks who become Super Bowl MVPs! Okay, so Larry Brown wasn't the best cornerback ever, in fact, he could be best described as solid. But he was a starter for the Cowboys 90's dynasty, and that was a very good defense. He had to be doing his job. What we really went for here is the mix of being drafted in the 12th round, starting for a championship defense, and winning a Super Bowl MVP.
In today's NFL draft, Larry Brown would have been an UDFA at best, if he was even signed. We all know the 12th round has long been eliminated from the NFL draft. So getting a guy in the 12th round that even made the team would have been an accomplishment, but getting one you could start at such an important position like cornerback was a major bonus. That's success in itself.
Then there's the Super Bowl MVP against the Steelers. Yeah, in truth the MVP of that game, for Dallas fans at least, was Pittsburgh QB Neil O'Donnell. His perfectly placed interceptions to Brown were the main ingredient in the Cowboys holding off the Steelers late charge. Still, someone had to be in position to catch those passes, and then actually catch them, and Larry Brown did it. Those two INTs led directly to two Dallas TDs.
Brown played from '91 - '95 in Dallas, then parlayed his new-found celebratory status into a big contract from the Raiders. That turned out to be a bust for Oakland, as Brown was never as good as he was in Dallas, and nowhere near good enough to warrant his contract. He ended up back in Dallas for one year ('98) but was a non-factor.
Larry Brown wasn't a great player, there are certainly better ones we could have slotted in this spot. But we like to have some fun with this list, and we just couldn't resist a 12th-rounder that ends up as a starter, and a Super Bowl MVP. Cheers, Larry Brown.
Miscellaneous stats: Had 4 INTs in '94, and had 6 INTs with 2 returned for TDs in '95. Started in 13 playoff games.
rabblerousr: Brown was never electric; he was always solid, playing with good speed and technique. Very few Super Bowl defenses have had starting corners taken in the 12th round.
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