and he told me before last season he would break the club record of 32 tackles and do it in just 10 games. That's hard to do when you only play eight.
The fourth and last player from the 2006 draft is Pat McQuistan, who hasn't really done anything and that's not entirely his fault. Flozell Adams has been a Pro Bowler. Marc Colombo might just be the most underappreciated player on the team.
They're good. They start. That means McQuistan sits. And that could be the way it goes this year, too. But at least McQuistan has moved inside to guard this summer, so he'll be competing with guys like Cory Procter and maybe Montrae Holland, if he doesn't beat out Kyle Kosier for the starting job. McQuistan would be a valuable player to take on game days because he could play both guard and tackle. Still, he can't afford to have a poor training camp.
Moving on to the 2007 season, the urgency might not be as high as the previous draft class, but it's close.
Seven of the eight players remain on the roster, and only two of them are penciled in as starters. It begins with the first-round pick that year - Anthony Spencer - who has some things to prove, despite being the projected starter to replace the recently-cut Greg Ellis.
Parting ways with a player who has more than 20 sacks the last two years isn't an easy move, especially when it involves a player who has been around for 10 seasons. So with Ellis gone, all eyes will be on Spencer, whose off-field shenanigans this past spring didn't go unnoticed.
And if that's not enough, Spencer should have some healthy competition behind him in fourth-round picks Brandon Williams and Victor Butler, who will be pushing each other in order to get that all-important third spot. The third guy will be active each week while the fourth player, unless he's a valuable special teamer, could be a week-to-week decision in regards to the active list.
Since the Cowboys had already seen enough of James Marten, a third-round pick from 2007 who was cut before last season, that should've served as a nice wake-up call to others in that draft.
Fourth-round picks Isaiah Stanback and Doug Free know time is running out. Free is at least one of the backup tackles, along with rookie Robert Brewster. As for Stanback, his injuries have been chronicled for a while now. They have limited his development as a receiver and his transition from a college quarterback.
This is his third year and so far he hasn't really done a thing. He knows it. He's frustrated. But Stanback knows he must not only stay healthy, but shine bright enough to convince the team he's got a future at wide receiver. And, that's he got more upside and potential than say a Manual Johnson or Mike Jefferson for that fifth spot.
Nick Folk is a starter. He's a Pro Bowl kicker who has made 86.8 percent of his field goals the last two years. He's a solid as it gets in that department, but he is coming off hip/labral surgery on his kicking leg that won't be completely healthy until right at the start of camp. With the drafting of David Buehler, a kickoff specialist, even Folk knows he must step up his game in that department to leave no doubt with the coaches. Whether or not Folk's job or his role as the starting kicker is up for grabs, he's treating it as such. And with that, it won't be an easy camp for Folk.
And lastly, the seventh-round picks in 2007, both Ball and Brown have looked rather sharp here in the summer OTA and mini-camp practices. Their versatility is being tested as both players have spent time at safety and cornerback. Who knows where each of them will end up, but obviously they fall into that "the more you can do" category that should help their value.
Still, neither player is a lock to make the roster, especially if players such as Mike Mickens or DeAngelo Smith or Michael Hamlin turn it on when camp begins.
Because those guys are draft picks. Current draft picks, which hold a little more weight, regardless if they are contributing right away.
The players picked in 2006 and 2007 know the feeling. But they don't have the same luxury anymore.