2006: With the 18th overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected Bobby Carpenter, linebacker of Ohio State. Five years later, Carpenter is gone, traded last offseason to St. Louis in exchange for another former first round bust, offensive tackle Alex Barron. Carpenter struggled to find a niche in the Cowboys defense, though he got closest in 2009, when he was used in the role of nickel linebacker.
2007: With the 26th overall pick, the Cowboys selected Anthony Spencer, linebacker out of Purdue. Spencer developed slowly over his first two seasons, as he sat behind Greg Ellis on the depth chart. Toward the end of 2009, he may have been the Cowboys’ best defensive player, but he was unable to carry this success over to 2010.
2008: With the 22nd overall pick, the Cowboys selected Felix Jones, running back out of Arkansas; at the 28th overall pick, they selected Mike Jenkins, cornerback from South Florida. Jenkins underachieved in his rookie year, won the starting job and, eventually, a Pro Bowl nod in 2009. In 2010, he took a huge step back, leading the league in pass interference calls and consistently getting burned in coverage.
Jones has shown flashes of brilliance, flashes being the operative word. Due to injury and the Cowboys’ crowded backfield, the jury is still out on the former Razorback. Basically, he just hasn’t had a chance as of yet to prove he can be consistent as the featured back, despite a wealth of talent.
2009: Dallas sent their first round pick to Detroit in exchange for Roy Williams in the previous season. The Lions spent the Cowboys on Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew, an ultra-talented tight end and Tyler native, adept both at blocking and receiving. You’re welcome, Lions.
2010: With the 24th overall pick, the Cowboys selected Dez Bryant, wide receiver out of Oklahoma State. In order to do this, the team had to trade their first (28) and third round (90) to the Patriots. Bryant has shown immense talent, but some have questioned his maturity. If he can overcome these supposed maturity issues and avoid injuries, he possesses the tools be one of the greats. Just how big of an “if” that is depends on who you ask.
Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW Sports on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe to this free service. Read more about it here.