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Top 10: Highlighting Best Of Cowboys’ Second-Round Picks

Posted Mar 29, 2013


IRVING, Texas – Despite a few veteran additions this week, the Cowboys have still been rather quiet this year in free agency.

Improving from their 8-8 ways will likely have to come through the draft. Of course, high expectations are set for their 18th overall pick, but the same should be said for their second-round selection as well.

Since this is considered a rather deep draft, good players will be around when the Cowboys pick for the second time.

Last year, the Cowboys moved up eight spots in the first round to get Morris Claiborne, which cost them their second-round pick. So essentially, Claiborne was the Cowboys’ first- and second-round picks of 2012.

So the emphasis of getting a quality second-round pick this year, let’s go back and look at the best second-round picks in Cowboys history.

HM – Kevin Williams/Golden Richards

The Cowboys have had a few wide receivers taken in the second round. Richards played six years and is biggest moment occurred in Super Bowl XII when he caught a touchdown pass from Robert Newhouse. Williams was one of Jimmy Johnson’s picks from Miami. He had a big role as a returner in 1993 and then was a starting receiver for the Super Bowl XXX team in 1995.

10. Jimmy Smith – As far as the pick goes, this could’ve been one of the better selections of all time. However, the Cowboys weren’t able to reap the benefits of Smith’s skills. Injuries early in his career prevented him from showcasing his talent. With Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper both starting at a young age, the Cowboys decided not to wait for Smith to develop. He was cut and went to Philly and released there before latching on with the Jags. Smith became one of the NFL’s most productive receivers of all time.

9. Sean Lee / Bruce Carter – These guys are linked together, not only because they are teammates, but as of now, their careers are similar. Both were considered first-round talents but fell to the second round because of injury concerns. And so far, both have displayed that talent, especially Lee, but haven’t been able to avoid costly injuries. If they stay on the field and play off of each other, it could be an amazing 1-2 punch at the linebacker position.

8. Andre Gurode – The Cowboys were shocked Gurode slipped to them in the early second round back in 2002 and immediately he played, both at guard and center. He went back and forth there until Bill Parcells made him a center in 2006. That’s when he made his first Pro Bowl and went to five straight, something no other center has done in Cowboys history.

7. Robert Newhouse - He had the body of a bruising fullback, a position he played most of his career. He was the featured back for the early part of his 12-year career and took a backseat once Tony Dorsett arrived. But Newhouse was a versatile player who did everything, including tossing a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. He was covering kickoffs during the final season of his career.

6. Ken Norton Jr. – The second-round pick of Tom Landry’s final draft class in 1988. He was the vocal leader of the Cowboys’ defenses during the first two Super Bowls of the 1990s. Norton’s game against the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII was memorable. Not only did he have a huge goal-line stop and returned a fumble for a touchdown late in the game, but Norton had the knockout hit on Bills quarterback Jim Kelly to knock him out of the game. Norton actually won three straight Super Bowls, getting a ring with the 49ers in the 1994 season.

5. Daryl Johnston – The Moose paved the way for most of Emmitt Smith’s record-breaking yards during his career. But more than just a lead blocker, Johnston developed an important role in the offense. He caught more passes (294) than he had rushing attempts (232) and scored 22 career touchdowns. The “Moose” calls became popular not only at Texas Stadium but throughout opposing stadiums during the 90’s. And to this day, Johnston remains a fan favorite.

4. Flozell Adams – Unlike Johnston, he wasn’t exactly a fan favorite. But while Adams had his share of false start penalties over the year, he did his job for the majority of his career – protect the blind side of his quarterback. Bill Parcells’ first priority in 2003 was to get Adams a new deal, which was surprising to most. But Adams made the Pro Bowl five of the next six years.  

3. Darren Woodson – More of a linebacker at Arizona State, Woodson was a rare athlete that combined size and speed, with a drive and work ethic that was unmatched. He’s not third on many lists, but Woodson came into the Cowboys and won two straight Super Bowls and three in his first four seasons. He’s now the Cowboys’ all-time leading tackler and a likely Ring of Honor member down the road.

2. Mel Renfro – Whether he was playing safety, cornerback or returning kicks, Renfro did everything at a high level, making 10 Pro Bowls during his career. Renfro was part of arguably the greatest draft in Cowboys history in 1964, when they also picked Roger Staubach and Bob Hayes.

1. Larry Allen – He was a raw, relatively unknown player from Sonoma State (Calif.), but the Cowboys thought he had a chance to develop and be dominant. That’s exactly what he was, earning 10 Pro Bowls. Like Renfro, he was an All-Pro at two different positions, earning.

>>Photo Gallery: Top 10 2nd round picks

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