The Dallas Cowboys have not had the success that we all have wanted for far too long, but they have certainly had high levels of success in the process.
This isn’t about accepting something other than a Super Bowl as a success. But we would be ignoring reality to say that the Cowboys have been abject failures recently.
Sure, the team fell short of expectations this past season, but they have won a lot of football games and have knocked on the door of the NFC Championship Game in three of the last eight seasons.
Two of those opportunities have come in the team’s current era, that of quarterback Dak Prescott. Time will tell whether the Cowboys make sure the era lasts much longer than the next year or so as his contract negotiations are something that are going on seemingly at all moments, but there is no denying that Dak has been an incredible success for the team.
Dak Prescott was chosen as the best Dallas Cowboys draft pick of the last five years by PFF
In looking back at the last five drafts the Dallas Cowboys have found a lot of talent.
We are talking about the 2016-2020 hauls by the organization and many people thought (perhaps still think) that the first class in this group was going to be remembered by many forever and would potentially challenge for the greatest one in team history. That ship sailed with Rico Gathers’ departure, obviously.
While many people note that the Cowboys are solid at drafting in the first round their top selections (2019 excluded since they traded that pick for Amari Cooper) in this particular range have not been supremely monumental:
Dallas Cowboys First Round Picks, 2016-2020
- 2016: Ezekiel Elliott
- 2017: Taco Charlton
- 2018: Leighton Vander Esch
- 2019: N/A
- 2020: CeeDee Lamb
We are all very high on CeeDee Lamb’s future with the Cowboys and while LVE had an incredible rookie season injuries have derailed his career to the point that it is fair to wonder whether or not the team is even going to pick up his fifth-year option here in 2021.
If we were to try and choose the best draft pick made by the Cowboys over this stretch of time we might have to look past the first round. The 2017 class was fairly not good all the way through so they are mostly excluded, but 2018 is a little underrated overall past Vander Esch (something we’ve talked about before).
That draft saw the Cowboys find Michael Gallup in the third round and Dalton Schultz certainly looks like his future could be promising as well. It is possible that a few years from now we are talking about Trevon Diggs as another supreme find, although it seems unlikely that he will ever be valued more than CeeDee Lamb in terms of contributions to the cause.
PFF recently combed through the last five drafts and chose the best picks made by each NFL team. This is football after all so it is very difficult to dispute who they chose on behalf of the Dallas Cowboys... Dak Prescott.
It doesn’t matter that they may have been much higher on Connor Cook or that they drafted Charles Tapper 34 picks prior. The Cowboys were willing to draft Prescott higher than anyone else was, and he’s been the most consistent quarterback from that 2016 group over his career.
Dallas did indeed prioritize Connor Cook over Dak Prescott but were thankfully spared by wya of the then-Oakland Raiders. The Raiders were actually the second team from their own division to stop the Cowboys from getting in their own way as Jerry Jones was infamously torn about not being able to land Paxton Lynch later in the first round after the Denver Broncos took him.
Prescott was the 135th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft and is arguably the best player to come from the group. The trades of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz this offseason further cemented the idea that he is the best quarterback from the class, and he is inarguably the most valuable person that the Cowboys took from it and the most valuable one that they have taken over the last five years.