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Last time Cowboys didn’t have a first-round pick was one of the worst draft classes in team history

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The 2009 Cowboys draft class sure was something.

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

It’s been said many times that the Dallas Cowboys are quite good at drafting players in the first round.

For nine straight seasons we’ve seen them pull off star after star, the worst of them was Morris Claiborne for goodness sake, although Taco Charlton could soon take that crown if his game doesn’t improve. Year in and year out one thing has remained very certain and it’s that Dallas knows how to do something special with one of the first 32 picks.

  • 2010: Dez Bryant
  • 2011: Tyron Smith
  • 2012: Morris Claiborne
  • 2013: Travis Frederick
  • 2014: Zack Martin
  • 2015: Byron Jones
  • 2016: Ezekiel Elliott
  • 2017: Taco Charlton
  • 2018: Leighton Vander Esch

Yes, the Cowboys dominate the first round. Good for them. They know just how to spend that draft pick even if it means trading it six months in advance for a star wide receiver in Amari Cooper. The Cowboys will have Cooper instead of a first-round rookie this season and considering the way last season went down it’s safe to say that we’re all good with that.

The Cooper trade was actually quite poetic as a decade before the Cowboys also flipped their first-round pick for a premier wide receiver in Roy Williams. That didn’t exactly work out as well as the Cooper trade has, but it was the last time the Cowboys were without a first-round pick in the draft.

What’s more is the Cowboys would go on to trade their second-round pick in the 2009 Draft which left them without a selection in the top two rounds. That’s a bold way to enter any draft and the Cowboys paid the price. The 2009 draft class is one of the worst in team history.

2009 Dallas Cowboys Draft Class

  • 3rd Round: Jason Williams
  • 3rd Round: Robert Brewster
  • 4th Round: Stephen McGee
  • 4th Round: Victor Butler
  • 4th Round: Brandon Williams
  • 5th Round: DeAngelo Smith
  • 5th Round: Michael Hamlin
  • 5th Round: David Buehler
  • 6th Round: Stephen Hodge
  • 6th Round: John Phillips
  • 7th Round: Mike Mickens
  • 7th Round: Manuel Johnson

12 players taken, and not a single one to be proud of. There were some fun David Buehler moments don’t get me wrong, John Phillips had his time in the sun as well, but the first draft class to play at AT&T Stadium was quite bad.

It’s been 10 years since this draft (where did that time go?) and the Cowboys are much better at working the later days of the annual selection period. We’ve seen Will McClay get legitimate contributors later on in the draft and that’s going to have to be the case this season without a first-round pick, but Dallas has a second-rounder this time.

We’re entering a very interesting,and in some ways difficult, draft season for the Cowboys. Not having a first-round pick takes away someone who we know they typically find to be very good. They’re going to have to be all the more precise in their later picks as the fate of the 2019 season, Jason Garrett’s contract year, depends on it.