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Cowboys drafting for defense?

From a Mickey Sapgs article comes the most interesting statement yet to come out of Cowboy-land concerning the draft. Of course, it could just be Jerry blowing smoke, but it sure sounds logical.

And finally, if you still need a clue as to just where the Cowboys might be looking in the first round, listen to these two Jones statements: "Free agency has helped our offense appreciably" and followed soon thereafter by "Can help ourselves defensively in the draft." Hmmmm.

LB, NT, S anyone?

Todd Archer makes the case (sub.required) that the true mark of a successful draft is what you do on the second day. Sure it's important to hit on the right players on the first day, in fact, it's imperative. But the teams that really end up in the elite also manage to do well on the second day. That's why having more picks is key, second day players are somewhat of a crap-shoot, so the more chances you have the better off you are. The Cowboys are desperate to get back their 4th round pick that they traded to get Canty last year. The good news for the Cowboys is that Parcells has done well in the later rounds in his three years. Check it out.

Since Bill Parcells has been Cowboys' coach, Dallas has found players on the second day of the draft, starting with linebacker Bradie James, a fourth-rounder in 2003. Three seventh rounders in 2004 - receiver Patrick Crayton and cornerbacks Nate Jones and Jacques Reeves - have made contributions. Then you have Barber, Canty, Petitti and Ratliff from last year.

How about life on the second day, pre-Parcells?

In the three years prior to Parcells' arrival the best finds were guard Matt Lehr (fifth round, 2001), cornerback Mario Edwards (sixth round, 2000) and a take-your pick on cornerback Pete Hunter (fifth) or Tyson Walter (sixth) in 2002.

From 1996-1999 the best second-day finds were safety Omar Stoutmire (seventh, 1997) and OL Oliver Ross (fifth, 1998), although Ross became a player in Pittsburgh after he was cut by the Cowboys.

Wow. That stinks! Let's thank our lucky stars that we get at least one more draft with Parcells in charge.

The Mickey Spags article mentioned above is about the rebuilding of the Cowboys roster. Parcells has basically taken a wrecking ball to the wreck that was our roster before he arrived. Here are some stats.

And, let's take this one step further in reverse fashion. Of the 70 players on the roster, only a baker's dozen will have been with the Cowboys for more than two seasons.

Think about that now: 57 players with the Cowboys for no more than two seasons heading into this draft, meaning, by May 1, if we conservatively add six draft choices and 12 rookie free agents, 75 of the potential 88 players on the roster will have been here no more than two seasons. That's 85 percent.

Yep, these are your Cowboys today, basically brand-spanking new. Suddenly Greg Ellis and Adams - first and second picks in the 1998 draft - going into their ninth Blue Star seasons, have the most Ranch seniority. Them others are gone, as is everyone from the 1999 draft, 2000 and 2001. In fact, only two guys remain from the 2002 draft, Roy Williams and Andre Gurode, and nary a free agent signed before Terry Glenn, Singleton, Romo and Shanle in 2003.

Thank you Bill. Even though this might be your last season, you've given us a roster that can win far into the future.