In this series, we will examine how exactly each player that wears the star on his helmet arrived at his destination.
Often times, we take snapshot judgments when evaluating a player's worth to the Dallas Cowboys. When they line up on Sundays in the fall, "will player X outperform player Y" always seems to be at center of the discussion and rightfully so. However, there is always more to a player than what you see on Sunday, as his journey could have taken on many different paths. Did the player come from out of nowhere to land on your television screen? Did the player arrive with fan fare and a high grade of pedigree? Were they outcasts from other teams or did Dallas break the bank to attain them?
I'll highlight one player from the group to start the post, and then cover all other players at the position(s). If they were drafted by the team, who else could have been here? If they were traded for, how did those trades play out over the years? The series kicks off with the wide receivers.
Name: Roy E. Williams
College: University of Texas
Originally drafted with the 7th pick of the 2004 draft by the Detroit Lions. Signed to a six year, $54 million contract through 2014. Came to Dallas with Detroit's 2009 seventh round pick #210. That pick was combined with Dallas' pick #156 and traded to Atlanta (who picked DT Vance Walker) for pick #143 CB DeAngelo Smith.
Dallas gave up a 1st (TE Brandon Pettigrew), 3rd (WR Derrick Williams) and a 6th (RB Aaron Brown) round pick in the 2009 draft. People nonchalantly say that this was the worse trade Jerry Jones has or ever will make, but when looking at the players Detroit selected it doesn't look too bad. However, we dive deep here at BTB and know that Detroit doesn't always make the right decision.
No player worth noting was picked after the sixth rounder given up before Dallas' next turn, so let's eliminate that from the equation. With the pick sent to Atlanta, Dallas could have drafted CB Captain Munnerlyn, not a big loss but worth mentioning.
Much more after the jump...
Roy makes the top five, but not at the top. The kicker? These are all players selected after the 3rd round pick we gave up for Williams.
OK, how about this list? S Louis Delmas :: S Patrick Chung :: LB James Laurinaitis :: LB Rey Maulauga :: S Jairius Byrd :: DT Ron Brace :: C Max Unger :: WR Mohamed Massaquoi :: RB LeSean McCoy :: OT Phil Loadholt :: G Andy Levitre :: OT Sebastian Vollmer (Pro Bowl)
Angry yet? Well, these were all 2nd round picks that Dallas could have probably traded back from #20 to pick up a couple of these guys. Still not pissed off?
WR Percy Harvin, OT Michael Oher, DT Peria Jerry, LB Clay Matthews, WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Kenny Britt, RB Chris Wells, DT Ziggy Hood
These were some of the remaining first round picks selected after Detroit picked at #20. That's right folks, if Dallas never makes that trade, we could have had Clay Matthews AND Lardarius Webb, or Hakeem Nicks AND Brandon Tate or Andy Levitre, Sebastian Vollmer AND Mike Wallace, or any other combination you prefer. Plus oodles of cap space. Not only did the Cowboys give up way too much in the trade, they did it with phenomenal talent available at positions of need.
To pour some salt on the wounds, Dallas also traded the 51st pick in that draft to Buffalo for the 75th and 110th pick, Robert Brewster and Victor Butler respectively. G Andy Levitre made the all-rookie team that season and was picked with our 51st pick. Also available were LeSean McCoy, CB Sean Smith, Phil Loadholt, OT Sebastian Vollmer. Who would you rather have, Vollmer or Brewster and Victor Butler?
Here's a look at the remaining eight wide receivers currently employed by the Dallas Cowboys.
|Player Name||Position||DOB||College||Path to the Cowboys|
|Austin, Miles||WR||6.30.84||Monmouth||Signed as an undrafted free agent after conclusion of the 2006 draft. Has been a Cowboy his entire career. Spent the first three seasons as the club's kick returner, including a scintillating KOR TD against Seattle in the 2006 season, the franchise's first ever. Worked his way up the depth chart, and was expected to contribute more in 2008 but was derailed by injuries.
Began 2009 season as the third receiver, but took advantage of Roy Williams injury and gained 250 yards and two scores in his first start against Kansas City.
Signed a six-year extension worth $57 million total set to run through 2016 season.
|Bryant, Dez||WR||11.4.88||Oklahoma State||Drafted with the 24th pick of the 2010 draft out of Oklahoma State. Dallas traded picks #27(CB Devin McCourty) and #90(WR Taylor Price)to New England to select Bryant. Was deemed ineligble by the NCAA after a month of the 2009 season for lying about having a legal dinner with Deion Sanders.
Players available immediately after #24: QB Tim Tebow, DT Jared Odrick, CB Kyle Wilson, DE Jerry Hughes, CB Patrick Robinson, OT Roger Saffold, S Nate Allen, S TJ Ward, WR Arrelious Benn, DE Koa Misi, DT Torell Troup, OLB Sergio Kindlle, DT Lamarr Houston, DT Linval Joseph, S Taylor Mays, CB Javier Arenas.
Players available after #90 pick: LB Navorro Bowman, TE Tony Moeaki, TE Jimmy Graham, CB Brandon Ghee, WR Mardy Gilyard, WR Mike Williams, OT Bruce Campbell, WR Jacoby Ford.
Signed to original rookie contract through 2014 season.
|Holley, Jesse||WR||1.8.84||North Carolina||Jesse Holley was originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007 by the Cincinatti Bengals. Out of football, Holley competed on and won Michael Irvin's reality show 4th and Long and won an invite to Cowboys training camp before the 2009 season. He bounced around the practice squad and was called up to the 53 man roster in October 2010.|
|Hurd, Sam||WR||4.24.85||Northern Illinois||Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2006 draft by the Cowboys. Caught his first NFL pass from Tony Romo (Romo's first career completion) in 2006 season. Specials team ace but has never threatened major snaps at the receiver position except for injury sub.
Free agent entering 2010 off-season.
|Johnson, Manuel||WR||10.14.86||Oklahoma||Originally drafted by the Cowboys in the 7th round of the 2009 draft with the 229th pick.
Moise Fokou linebacker from the Eagles was drafted with the next selection.
|Moturi, Jeff||WR||4.4.86||U-T-E-P||Signed to a futures contract after 2010 season, spent last week of season on Dallas' practice squad after being released from Chicago and Indianapolis.|
|Ogletree, Kevin||WR||8.5.87||Virginia||Signed as an undrafted free agent out of University of Virginia following the 2009 NFL Draft. Spent his entire rookie season as active on the 53 man roster.
Ogletree is signed for the 2011 season for $480K and will be a restricted free agent for the 2012 season.
|Williams, Teddy||WR||7.3.88||Texas-San Antonio||Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent CB by the Cowboys following the 2010 draft. Williams was a track star and hadn't previously played professional football. Cowboys converted him to WR after his scout team performance in December 2010 and was called up the 53 man roster as an injury replacement for Kevin Ogletree.|