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The Dallas Cowboys haven’t had consistent success in any round of the NFL draft outside of the first

Cowboys drafts have nor been consistent, something they need to change.

NFL: APR 27 2018 NFL Draft Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This past season was supposed to be one of extreme promise for the Dallas Cowboys yet they fell well short of expectations by under-delivering during a season following one of legitimate success. That’s who they’ve been for a long time now. Nothing is sustainable.

That same sort of philosophy can be extended to covering the way that the team drafts if we look close enough. The Cowboys have had unbelievable success over this past decade with their first-round selections, but there are six more rounds to an NFL Draft. The Cowboys aren’t exactly dominating in rounds outside of number one.

Mike McCarthy is the team’s new head coach which means that Will McClay and Co. have to shop for groceries for a different chef than Jason Garrett. This will change some things, but with the scouting department not experiencing turnover it’s hard to expect drastic differences.

Picking in the first round is not easy because, well, nothing is easy in the NFL; however, it is certainly easier to find a contributing player with one of the earlier selections than later ones.

Dallas Cowboys first-round picks (2010-2019)

  • 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
  • 2019: *traded for Amari Cooper*

That’s a good-looking list, isn’t it? There are an enormous amount of Pro Bowls, All-Pro selections, and potential Ring of Honor spots here. Good for the Cowboys.

But what about beyond the first round? Dallas has had trouble finding anything close to the same level of consistency there.

Dallas Cowboys second-round picks (2010-2019)

  • 2010: Sean Lee
  • 2011: Bruce Carter
  • 2013: Gavin Escobar
  • 2014: DeMarcus Lawrence
  • 2015: Randy Gregory
  • 2016: Jaylon Smith
  • 2017: Chidobe Awuzie
  • 2018: Connor Williams
  • 2019: Trysten Hill

Dallas Cowboys third-round picks (2010-2019)

  • 2011: DeMarco Murray
  • 2012: Tyrone Crawford
  • 2013: Terrance Williams
  • 2013: JJ Wilcox
  • 2015: Chaz Green
  • 2016: Maliek Collins
  • 2017: Jourdan Lewis
  • 2018: Michael Gallup
  • 2019: Connor McGovern

Dallas Cowboys fourth-round picks

  • 2010: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
  • 2011: David Arkin
  • 2012: Kyle Wilber
  • 2012: Matt Johnson
  • 2013: B.W. Webb
  • 2014: Anthony Hitchens
  • 2015: Damien Wilson
  • 2016: Charles Tapper
  • 2016: Dak Prescott
  • 2017: Ryan Switzer
  • 2018: Dorance Armstrong
  • 2018: Dalton Schultz
  • 2019: Tony Pollard

The Cowboys took a lot of fliers with their second-round pick this past decade, a round that shouldn’t exactly be spent on lottery tickets, but they do, at least, have the biggest contract in team history with DeMarcus Lawrence to show for it.

Overall, the second round doesn’t look too bad collectively. The third round is a collection of almost-was-really-good with Michael Gallup doing everything he can to raise the curve. If it weren’t for Dak Prescott the fourth round would have been a disaster, unless you’re the Kansas City Chiefs of course, which is a bit disappointing considering there were 13 picks there over the whole decade (forever shout out to Matt Johnson, though). Tony Pollard looks very promising so there’s hope for the future.

If you thought those were rough to look at though, hold your breath. Take a gander at rounds five through seven from these last 10 years.

Dallas Cowboys fifth-round picks (2010-2019)

  • 2011: Josh Thomas
  • 2012: Danny Coale
  • 2013: Joseph Randle
  • 2014: Devin Street
  • 2015: Ryan Russell
  • 2018: Mike White
  • 2019: Michael Jackson
  • 2019: Joe Jackson

Dallas Cowboys sixth-round picks

  • 2010: Sam Young
  • 2010: Jamar Wall
  • 2011: Dwayne Harris
  • 2012: James Hanna
  • 2013: DeVonte Holloman
  • 2016: Anthony Brown
  • 2016: Kavon Frazier
  • 2016: Darius Jackson
  • 2016: Rico Gathers
  • 2017: Xavier Woods
  • 2017: Marquez White
  • 2018: Chris Covington
  • 2018: Cedrick Wilson
  • 2019: Donovan Wilson

Dallas Cowboys seventh-round picks

  • 2010: Sean Lissemore
  • 2011: Shaun Chapas
  • 2011: Bill Nagy
  • 2012: Caleb McSurdy
  • 2014: Ben Gardner
  • 2014: Will Smith
  • 2014: Ahmad Dixon
  • 2014: Ken Bishop
  • 2014: Terrance Mitchell
  • 2015: Mark Nzeocha
  • 2015: Laurence Gibson
  • 2015: Geoff Swaim
  • 2017: Joey Ivie
  • 2017: Noah Brown
  • 2017: Jordan Carrell
  • 2018: Bo Scarbrough
  • 2019: Mike Weber
  • 2019: Jalen Jelks

While there are definitely a handful of players here that have had interesting careers (please do not forget Rico Gathers) it’s hard to look at any of these three rounds and feel like the Cowboys even averaged simply the bare minimum. Take a look at them again, which group is the best? Their sixth round haul definitely stands out among the selections.

It should be said that drafting is very hard. It’s not at all easy for scouting departments and personnel groups to knock picks out of the park every year. There is a reason that more people are upset at this time of the offseason than people are pleased.

Still though, this level of inconsistency needs to change. We have seen the Cowboys piece together manageable depth recently, but some of what they’ve done has been through low-level trades and free agency. It’s time for them to start finding not necessarily the rarest of all talents, just consistent contributors and reliable role players.

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