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Dwindling Depth

!Jason Williams was the 69th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Western Illinois.

  •   Four on the roster (McGee, Buehler, Butler, Brandon Williams) 
  • Two on the practice squad (Brewster, Manny Johnson)  
  • Two on IR (John Phillips, Stephen Hodge)  
  • Four released and no longer with team (Jason Williams, Hamlin, Smith, Mike Mickens )   

I guess you can't talk about the 2009 draft without mentioning wide receiver Roy Williams. The Cowboys did give up their first-round pick, along with a third and sixth to the Lions for his services.  

So far, you'd have to say the Cowboys really haven't gotten first-round pick production. He has scored 12 touchdowns in the last two years, but without sounding like Buddy Ryan in reference to Cris Carter, really that's about all Williams has done. He's caught his touchdowns, which obviously is important.  

But it's safe to say he hasn't produced on a consistent level. Yes, Williams does have a team-high five touchdown catches this year. He also ranks fifth on the team in catches with 22, an average of just 3.1 per game. Of course, he is tied with Miles Austin for a team-best 14.9 yards per catch, which is rather good for being a self-described "possession receiver."  

Yes, you have to lump in Williams when evaluating this draft class. That's fine. But obviously, draft picks and veteran players aren't evaluated the same. The Cowboys took a chance on 12 rookies - basically throwing stuff at the wall and hoping something would stick.  

If you remember, a lot of these players were chosen to give instant help on special teams, something that was a major point of emphasis in the offseason. And with the addition of special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis, who appeared to have a strong voice in the draft room that day, it looked like this group could bolster that unit.  

Last year was a good year for special teams, and Buehler was a huge reason for it. He came in and not only broke the Cowboys' record for touchbacks, but his 29 led the entire NFL. As a result, the Cowboys ranked second in the league in opponent's average starting field position at the 22.8 yard line.  

But really, other than Buehler, this class didn't have a huge role in that. Butler and Phillips had special teams roles, and occasionally Jason Williams played some. In hindsight, this group really wasn't very good on special teams. Not then, and not really now. 

And that's why you're seeing some of them either cut or deactivated on game days.  

So as this team has aging veterans left and right, you'd like to think help is on the way in the form of younger players.  

While the Cowboys will be scrambling for answers, don't expect to find them in last year's draft class.      

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