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What the Cowboys can expect to get from their six draft picks in 2019

A quick look at four year’s worth of players selected with the draft picks the Cowboys currently hold in the 2019 NFL draft.

NFL: NFL Draft Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL finalized the full order for the 2019 draft last week. The Cowboys will have six selections in the draft in total, including one compensatory pick.

To get a better feel for what type of player could be waiting for the Cowboys in each round, here’s an overview of the players selected in the past four years with the picks the Cowboys hold this year, along with a few selected metrics:

Year Player Pro Bowls Starter
Seasons
Games started
2nd Round, No. 58 overall
2018 Isaiah Oliver, CB, ATL 0 0 2
2017 Ethan Pocic, C, SEA 0 0 15
2016 Sean Davis, CB, PIT 0 2 40
2015 Markus Golden, DE, ARI 0 1 25
3rd Round, No. 90 overall
2018 Deadrin Senat, DT, ATL 0 0 2
2017 Shaquill Griffin, DB, SEA 0 2 27
2016 C.J. Prosise, RB, SEA 0 0 2
2015 Carl Davis, DT, BAL 0 0 12
4th Round, No. 128 overall
2018 Kentavius Street, DT, SFO 0 0 0
2017 Josh Malone, WR, CIN 0 0 7
2016 Evan Boehm, C, ARI 0 1 13
2015 Jon Feliciano, G, OAK 0 0 8
4th Round, No. 136 overall
2018 Marquis Haynes, OLB, CAR 0 0 0
2017 Sean Harlow, G, ATL 0 0 0
2016 Devontae Booker, RB, DEN 0 0 6
2015 Tray Walker, CB, BAL 0 0 0
5th Round, No. 165 overall
2018 Jaylen Samuels, TE, PIT 0 0 3
2017 Jamal Agnew, CB, DET 0 0 0
2016 Tyreek Hill, WR, KAN 3 2 30
2015 Bradley Pinion, P, SFO 0 4 0
7th Round, No. 241 overalll
2018 Greg Stroman, CB, WAS 0 0 3
2017 Khalfani Muhammad, RB, TEN 0 0 0
2016 Charone Peake, WR, NYJ 0 0 1
2015 Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, CLE 0 0 0

When I first set out to compile the data above, I thought it would show how there was a good chance the Cowboys would be able to put together another quality draft. And while they may still be able to do that, the last four years detailed above don’t provide a lot of reasons for optimism.

Draft lore holds that the top 100 picks are where you get your future starters in the draft. Except that hasn’t worked out too well for the teams drafting in the spots the Cowboys hold this year. The eight prospects drafted here with picks 58 and 90 have combined for just four starter seasons out of a possible 24.

And it doesn’t get much better beyond the top 100, even when considering that pickings have always been slim beyond the third round. From 2015 to 2018, 24% of the prospects drafted on the third day of the draft became starters for at least one season.

Of the 16 players drafted with the Cowboys’ final four picks, just three (19%) have managed to play at least one season as a starter.

Having already spent their first-round pick and picking where they are at the bottom of every round, the 2019 Cowboys don’t have a lot of draft capital to begin with. You can calculate the draft capital of each draft class by simply adding up the value of each team’s picks on the Trade Value Chart to arrive at a total value of each draft class.

Using that approach, I calculated how the Cowboys’ 2019 draft capital compares to the draft capital in each draft since 1992. The 2019 draft ranks 27th out of those 28 drafts:

Year Draft Capital - Year Draft Capital - Year Draft Capital
1992 3,477 2014 1,655 2010 1,188
2016 2,779 1995 1,635 2017 1,143
2005 2,717 2018 1,610 2007 1,142
2003 2,597 2013 1,555 2004 1,131
2002 2,527 1997 1,549 2001 962
2011 2,221 2006 1,517 2009 796
1998 2,124 1996 1,505 2019 570
2012 1,945 1999 1,482 2000 545
2008 1,902 1993 1,268
1994 1,901 2015 1,192

Historically, the Cowboys have not done particularly well in drafts where they haven’t had a lot of draft capital, but then again, nobody said you weren’t allowed to pick multiple future Pro Bowlers and multi-season starters when you’re drafting at the bottom of each round.

How the 2019 draft class ultimately turns out is anybody’s guess right now, but if the Cowboys have done their homework on each prospect and stick to their draft draft board, then they have a chance of having a good draft. And it looks like that’s exactly what they intend to do, as Will McClay explained on the Hangin’ with the Boys show on DallasCowboys.com during the 2017 training camp.

When you go into a draft, you kind of get a feel for where the strength of the talent coming in is. And it just so happened that [in 2017] our needs matched the strength of the draft in the secondary. There were a lot of secondary players, there were a lot of defensive players that we felt, for the right price, up front and linebackers, that could fit and help us fill the void.

But really, you just have to pick the best players that are there is the philosophy that we apply, because if you go chasing players, and if you give away something to get something, well you’re giving something up. Especially if players are in the same range. So what we try and do is value players properly, then you’re going to pick the player at the right value and hopefully get him to supersede that value.

So we didn’t go into it with the philosophy “we’re going to address the secondary”. If there weren’t secondary people there, there’s still other parts of the team to fix. Then you’ve got to find another way to fix what you’re missing.