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Cowboys to Get Defensive in Draft: Uh-Oh

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We all agree the Cowboys need defensive help, right?

You know the nauseating numbers from 2013: 432 points allowed, including seven games over 30 and three games over 40. A league-worst 415 yards surrendered per game. And just, in general, a whopping liability on a team that again finished 8-8.

The NFL Draft is now only a month away and unless Dallas is trading the farm for Johnny Manziel – which they’re not – we can assume the first pick will be used on defense.

If history is any indication, prepare to be disappointed. In the Jerry Jones era the Cowboys have taken a defensive player with their first pick in the draft 14 times. Of those 14, it can be argued that as many as 11 of those players failed to live up to their potential.

A look at the Cowboys’ defensive first picks:

  • 2011 6th Morris Claiborne -- Only 2 INTs in 2 years and minimal impact.
  • 2009 69th Jason Williams -- Nada.
  • 2007 26th Anthony Spencer -- One good season in an otherwise underwhelming career.
  • 2006 18th Bobby Carpenter -- Blame Bill Parcells for this one.
  • 2005 11th DeMarcus Ware -- One of the greatest Cowboys’ linemen of all-time.
  • 2003 5th Terence Newman -- Only 2 Pro Bowls in 11 years as the 5th overall pick makes it a bad selection.
  • 2002 8th Roy Williams -- 5 Pro Bowls, 1 All-Pro year and a difference-maker on defense.
  • 2000 49th Dwayne Goodrich -- What a waste of talent.
  • 1999 20th Ebeneezer Ekuban -- Nope.
  • 1998 8th Greg Ellis -- Passed up Randy Moss for a linebacker who made 1 Pro Bowl in 12 seasons.
  • 1996 37th Kavika Pittman -- See: Ebeneezer Ekuban.
  • 1994 23rd Shante Carver -- See: Kavika Pittman.
  • 1992 17th Kevin Smith -- 3 Super Bowl rings and 19 INTs in 8 seasons at cornerback.
  • 1991 1st Russell Maryland -- Solid, but never spectacular on defenses ranked No. 1 and on Super Bowl teams.

 A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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