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Cowboys Have Found Gold (Jackets) At No. 17 


As we wrap up the month of January, we still have plenty of questions to answer.

While the coaching staff under Mike McCarthy is now set, the focus now shifts to player personnel, which is critical this year as the team has over 25 free agents, including Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. Neither seem to be going anywhere, but again, the Cowboys will have to either sign them to long-term deals or use a franchise or transition tag to protect their rights.

And then, after all that, comes the draft.

So we might be skipping around to late April, but regardless of the new additions on the staff and the players that are retained in free agency, this will undoubtedly be an important draft for the Cowboys, who did not have a pick last year after sending it to Oakland for Cooper in the middle of the 2018 season.

The Cowboys have the 17th overall pick for just the fifth time in team history.

With only four previous picks at this spot, one might suggest it's a small sample size to call it a trend. However, 50 percent of the picks from this spot in the first round have ended up in the Hall of Fame.

That's right, two of the four players the Cowboys have taken at No. 17 – Emmitt Smith and Mel Renfro – both have a gold jacket.

That's quite a success rate, even with just four picks.

The other two weren't that bad either, including cornerback Kevin Smith, who was taken 17th in the 1992 draft. That was one of the many picks the Cowboys obtained in the Herschel Walker trade and Smith had a nine-year career in Dallas, starting 93 games.

The Cowboys also drafted Kevin Brooks in 1985 out of Michigan. The bulky defensive end spent two years in a rotation before starting 26 games the next two seasons. He finished his career in Detroit.

But the Cowboys certainly have hit home runs with both Emmitt and Mel Renfro, who have a combined 18 Pro Bowls between them.

Renfro played 14 seasons, earning 10 Pro Bowls despite moving back and forth from cornerback and safety. He's the Cowboys' all-time leader in interceptions with 52 interceptions.

Of course, Smith is the NFL's all-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards. He made eight Pro Bowls, led the NFL in rushing three times and won both NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP in the 1993 season.

So can the Cowboys find themselves another star at No. 17 once again?

It's too early to even take most of the mock drafts seriously at this point, but there seems to be a good number of corners and safeties that could be around at that spot for the Cowboys, who enter the offseason with lots of uncertainties in the secondary.

Whether the Cowboys take a defensive back, defensive lineman or perhaps even at tight end, they need a contributor who can start right away.

And if they happen to end up in Canton, well that would definitely be icing on the cake.