Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1995, nor have they had much playoff success in the intervening years. But it’s not for lack of talent. When Jerry Jones purchased the team, he took over the role of GM shortly thereafter. But despite the criticism that’s come from Jones running all of football operations on his own, he’s had success in the draft. We are ranking the five best Dallas Cowboys draft picks of the last decade.
Honorable Mention: Jaylon Smith (2016)
The Cowboys have had so many strong draft picks over the last decade that it was worth adding a small honorable mention section. The first player to note is Jaylon Smith, linebacker out of Notre Dame. During the 2015-16 college season, Smith racked up defensive hardware, winning the prestigious Butkus Award for the best collegiate linebacker.
He could’ve gone in the first five picks, but he tore his ACL playing what was ultimately a meaningless Fiesta Bowl game against Ohio State. The serious injury destroyed his draft stock, but the Cowboys’ doctor performed the surgery, making the team more confident than others about his ability to return. The Cowboys selected him in the 2nd round (34th overall).
Smith returned for the 2017 season and saw more playing time than expected because of other injuries. He eventually earned Pro Bowl honors in 2019. Smith is now with the New York Giants, but he deserved an honorable mention nod because of the unusual gamble the Cowboys took to draft him.
Honorable Mention: Trevon Diggs (2020)
Trevon Diggs is one of the newest members on this list. After standout seasons in college playing for Alabama, the Cowboys selected him in the 2nd round (51st overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. The CB started his first season in the league. But in his sophomore campaign for the Cowboys, he led the NFL in interceptions with 11 and was named a first-team All Pro. It’s likely that Trevon Diggs will continue to make up a key piece of the Cowboys’ offense, and in a few seasons, he might find his name much higher on this list.
- Ranking the 5 best Cowboys draft picks of the last decade
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