IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys are looking to add several new members to their roster between Thursday and Saturday during the 2013 NFL Draft.
On paper, Dallas holds one pick in each of the first six rounds of the draft. Whether the Cowboys gain or lose picks as a result of draft day trades remains to be seen, but it's safe to say there will be some new faces around Valley Ranch when all is said and done.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was quick to point out what should by this point be considered common knowledge: It's not typically an easy transition from college football to the NFL.
"You can have all the measurables you want, you can have the great history, you can have the pedigree, the level of competition, but when you're going from college football to pro football it's a jump, regardless of what position you play," Garrett said. "Having said that, you want to be able to get these guys to play as early and quickly as possible."
Garrett acknowledged the Cowboys have been fortunate to snag Day 1 starters in recent drafts, such as Morris Claiborne and Tyron Smith in the 2012 and 2011 drafts, respectively. It goes without saying that it would be a big benefit if the team could keep that streak alive this weekend.
The Cowboys' head man made another point that draftniks would do well to consider while they agonize over this weekend's selections, though. Regardless of who the Cowboys bring to Valley Ranch this weekend, they can be sure to count on contributions from a bevy of other new faces.
"We had some other guys who got banged up early last year and weren't able to contribute as much as we wanted them to, fourth-round picks [Kyle] Wilber and Matt Johnson," Garrett said. "James Hanna was a guy who emerged for us toward the end of the year."
Minor injuries limited Johnson all the way through the offseason before hamstring problems ended his rookie campaign early in 2012. Wilber saw time in 10 games last year, but injuries denied him the opportunity to make the desired impact. Hanna was a non-factor up until Week 14, when he began a strong run to the finish. [embedded_ad]
That doesn't even include other 2012 draftees, such as wide receiver Danny Coale and linebacker Caleb McSurdy, who were sidelined virtually from the get-go with injuries.
Keep that in mind when the clock starts Thursday night. The Cowboys are looking to add instant contributors in this draft class, but there's still a lot to be seen from the remnants of 2012.
"We have guys from last year's draft that we feel like we haven't even seen yet because of injury," Garrett said. "So we expect some things from them in terms of competing with players on our team, competing for roster spots, competing for playing time. Those are important additions to our team in 2013."