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Mailbag: Ranking 2005 Class; Surprise Standouts?

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With the passing of Marion Barber, I looked back at the Cowboys' 2005 draft. How highly would you rank that draft class? I would have to say one of the best. – FRANK BIEHN / CHANDLER, AZ

David: I think you'd have to call it the best draft class of the Post-Triplets Era. It's worth mentioning 2016 because Dak is one of the best fourth-round picks in recent history, but it's hard to argue against drafting DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Marion Barber and Jay Ratliff all in one swoop. All time, though? I think the answer will probably always be 1964. Drafting three Hall of Famers, including Roger Staubach? How do you top that?

Nick: I think in terms of Cowboys' classes, it has to be Top 5 – easy. We recently did a Top 10 ranking of draft classes and we put it No. 4 overall. No class will probably ever top 1964, but to me, 1989 and 1975 were a little bit better than 2005, which had one Hall of Famer and a lot of really good players. Now, in terms of a specific stat ... I would think this class probably has the most sacks from any one draft class ever – not just the Cowboys but any team. Between Ware, Spears, Burnett, Canty and Ratliff – that's 226 career sacks. In one draft class! That alone is pretty special. Then of course, Barber was a great addition on the offensive side.

It is the first week of June. From what you have seen and heard, what non-starting player (as of June 1) on offense and defense are you most excited to see when the pads come on? Is there someone we need to be prepared for? – CHRIS BARKEMA / STORY CITY, IA

David: I think we're going to find out how good Matt Waletzko is in a hurry. They have not been afraid to throw this guy into the fire, as he's getting a ton of reps and plenty of opportunity to play with the starters. It hasn't always been pretty, but I will say it looks like he belongs out there. That's a good sign for a guy making a jump from FCS football. Defensively, it's hard not to notice Chauncey Golston, mainly because of the bulk he's added. He was pushing the pocket pretty well from the interior this week.

Nick: For me personally, I'm excited for James Washington. I've watched him play in high school, met him at the combine and Senior Bowl, and I've predicted this move for a couple of years now. So, selfishly, I want to see how this plays out. But I also think the wide receiver group needs some experience. They need guys who have been around and know what it takes. Washington has a chance to really help this team if he can provide those things that are currently missing.

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