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The Cowboys Draft - Can they Find the Talent?

With the draft coming this month I wanted to take another look at where successful teams find their talent. Businesses, governments and the military all look for successful models on which to build their future strategy. We know we need some help on defense and we need it in the middle - so I wanted to take a look at the league's top defenses to see if they offer us any guidance.

I have hope.

In an attempt to match up to the Cowboys - if a team played a 3 - 4, I included their nose tackle but I did not include the two defensive tackles if the team played a 4 - 3. I also only used the middle linebacker on a 4 - 3 team because I wanted to look at inside linebackers and not outside rushers. In summary, you will see a middle linebacker and two safeties from a 4 - 3 team and a nose tackle, two inside linebackers and two safeties from a 3 - 4 team.

Where did the players on these successful teams find their players?

The five best defenses in the NFL in 2009 ranked by fewest yards allowed ;

1) Titans
S. Tulluch MLB (4th round)
C. Hope Safety (3rd round)
M. Griffin Safety (1st round)

2) Giants
A. Pierce MLB (UDFA)
J. Butler Safety (UDFA)
M. Johnson Safety (7th round)

3) Dolphins
J. Ferguson NT (7th round)
A. Ayodele ILB (3rd round)
C. Crowder ILB (3rd round)
Y. Bell Safety (6th round)
R. Hill Safety (7th round)

4) Steelers
C. Hampton NT (1st round)
J. Farrior ILB (1st round)
L. Foote ILB (4th round)
T. Polamalu Safety (1st round)
R. Clark Safety (UDFA)

5) Ravens
H. Ngata NT (1st round)
R. Lewis ILB (1st round)
B. Scott ILB (UDFA)
E. Reed Safety (1st round)
J. Leonhard Safety (UDFA)

Number of players in the rounds in which they were drafted

1st round


2nd round


3rd round


4th round


5th round


6th round


7th round





What this tells me is that while the Cowboys don't have a first round selection, the majority of the players in those positions that we need came in rounds three or lower. With our 11 picks (if we chose to use them all) we have a good chance of finding upgrades at our defensive needs positions. These may not be superstars but they are serviceable and viable upgrades.

I have hope.

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