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Top 10: Hayes, Wright Among Best Seventh-Round Picks For Cowboys
The Cowboys are more than a week into free agency, but it’s never too early to start focusing on the draft. Of, the Cowboys have the 28th overall pick in the first round, but if last year proved anything, talent can be found in other places.
So for the next seven weeks, leading up to the NFL Draft in late-April, let’s focus on the best players the Cowboys have collected in each of the seven rounds.
This week, let’s focus on the 10 best seventh-round picks in Cowboys history:
Jacques Reeves (2004)
Kelvin Garmon (1999)
Omar Stoutmire (1997)
10. Alan Ball (2007) – While he wasn’t a solid starter for many years, Ball played five seasons for the Cowboys and just finished his ninth year in the league, spending 2016 with the Bears. He was a versatile player who had safety and cornerback skills and started 16 games during the 2010 season.
9. Nate Jones (2004) – One of three seventh-rounders to make the team in 2004, Jones was undersized, but made up for it with toughness and his knowledge of the game. He played eight seasons in the NFL but could be getting back in the league in another capacity as an official.
8. Mike Hegman (1975) – A 12-year pro who started for most of the 1980’s, Hegman was a solid piece of the Cowboys’ rotation. He had 16 turnovers over the course of his career but his only touchdown occurred in Super Bowl XIII when he returned a fumble for a score against Pittsburgh.
7. Patrick Crayton (2004) – The scouts convinced Bill Parcells that this small-school star in Oklahoma could transition to the NFL, and they were right. Crayton did everything in college from play receiver to quarterback to return kicks. But he developed into a good receiver who started 13 games in 2007 when the Cowboys had their 13-3 season.
6. Ron Fellows (1981) – A defensive mainstay in the 1980s, opposite of Everson Walls. Fellows started three years but was a solid reserve in other years. He was often around the ball, recording 28 takeaways, including 19 career interceptions. He also scored three TDs with the Cowboys.
5. Brock Marion (1993) – He won two Super Bowls in his first three seasons with the Cowboys but it wasn’t long before he was a solid starter in the secondary, alongside Darren Woodson. In the 1995 Super Bowl season, Marion had six interceptions. But he played 12 years, including six years in Miami. He finished with 31 career interceptions.
4. Leon Lett (1991) – Known primarily for two infamous plays, Lett was a dominant figure in the middle of the Cowboys’ defense during the 1990s. Had his career not been cut by drug suspensions, Lett might have been considered one of the best players at his position during his era. Still, the “Big Cat” was a nightmare to block. Today, he’s trying to teach some of his talents and techniques to the Cowboys’ current linemen as the team’s defensive line coach.
3. Jay Ratliff (2005) – A former tight end in college, Ratliff was always considered too small to play defensive tackle, especially nose tackle. For years, he just used the naysayers as motivation as Ratliff became one of the toughest, more productive defensive linemen in Cowboys history. He made four straight Pro Bowls from 2008-11 where he recorded 18 sacks despite facing numerous double-teams.
2. Rayfield Wright (1967) – Drafted as a defensive player, Wright eventually worked his way to the offensive side of the ball where he is considered the first great offensive linemen in Cowboys history. He’s one of just two Cowboys O-linemen in the Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor, along with Larry Allen.
1. Bob Hayes (1964) – Plain and simple, he changed the way the NFL is played today. Taking Hayes in the seventh round was a reach because he simply known as a sprinter. But before too long, he forced defenses into zone coverages because there weren’t any cornerbacks in the league who could run with him. The “Bullet” still holds the Cowboys record for most TD receptions with 71.Read