IRVING, Texas – Jason Garrett won't know the Cowboys' first three draft picks (one in each round) until Friday night, but ideally he expects them to develop into future starters.
The rest? Maybe. The Cowboys have hit on late-round picks before – 2005 seventh-rounder Jay Ratliff is a good example – but theoretically the fourth through seventh rounds are reserved more for rotation or special teams players with upside.
"Now, are (first-, second- and third-round picks) Day 1 starters? You can't say that," Garrett said. "Nobody can say that, but at some point in their careers you would like to think that they're a starter, and the sooner the better.
"Now, if you can get in the fourth round and start getting a starter player, maybe he's a younger player who needs time to develop but can be a starter down the road, you get four of them. Or maybe that fourth-round player is a (special) teams guy. Maybe he has a particular role and will never be an every-down player but he has a role for you that's fairly defined.
"And then when you get in the fifth, sixth and seventh (rounds), I think you're looking for players with special traits. Again, maybe a role for your team or maybe a guy who isn't ready to play but maybe has the measurables and the makeup and you think down the road can be a player for you in a given role or maybe even as a starter."