Our continuing series looking at the Top 10 Biggest Draft Successes Of The Jerry Jones Era rolls on with #2. 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.
2. Leon Lett (1991, 7th round, #173, DT, Emporia State)
We got to give some love to the Big Cat, since everyone outside of Dallas remembers him for those two huge blooper plays. Forget those two plays. Leon Lett was at times an unstoppable force in the middle of the defense. His stats aren't gaudy, but that's because he was an automatic double-team for most of his career. Guys like Charles Haley and Tony Tolbert benefited from the attention Leon received.
The Cowboys get big credit on this draft pick in multiple areas. One, they got him in the 7th round. A player as good as Leon was in the 7th? That's crazy. Two, they took a chance on a small-school kid. Three, many teams backed off because of an injury leading into the draft, and Lett actually spent a good part of his first year on injured-reserve. And four, Lett was actually severely undersized until he put on weight in his first years with the Cowboys. All that gambling paid off, as the Big Cat was a wrecking-crew in the middle of the line.
Ok, it's sad that he didn't ever reach his full-potential. Drug problems robbed him of a lot of games because of suspensions, and probably limited what he really could have done.
Still, for a 7th round pick from a tiny school, the Cowboys got huge bang for the buck.
OCC: Perhaps remembered more for his two highlight reel blunders than for his ten season and two Pro Bowls for the Cowboys
rabblrouser: If not for some drug troubles, Lett would have been a Hall of Famer. In the mid-90s, he was unblockable.
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