The last two years, the Cowboys have taken some players with major injury red flags in the second round. They definitely hit on Sean Lee, and Bruce Carter could be starting alongside him this year.
Could this be a long-term strategy for the Cowboys? They went for the sure thing in the first round last year with Tyron Smith, but rolled the dice in Round 2. The Cowboys have gambled quite a bit in the draft over the years, and whether or not those picks paid off has often had a make-or-break effect on the draft.
You expect to get a good player in the first round and the second round, too, but the odds aren't as good. If the second-rounder works out, usually, it's been a good April.
"I'd say it's the caliber of player that are in those first 32 players that you get to choose from," Jerry Jones said. "You notice how great your drafts are when you have two No. 1s, because with both those picks, you're up in those first 30 players. And so I think it's that simple. I think it's just a question of you've got better players to choose from the earlier you pick."
While Carter progressed as planned last year, coming back from knee surgery to play on special teams, there's no way to know if the 2011 second-round pick was well-used until a few games have been played next season.
"I hope we're as good with Carter as we were with Lee," Jones said. "Both those guys we had as first rounders, and that's what you'd like to have. Flozell Adams was in our top 20 players, (Andre) Gurode was in our top 20 players.
"You should, if you're in that second round, especially if you are, let's say, down at the mid-round, then you should be picking a player, and can be, more often than not, a player that you have in your top 20 players in the first round. That's ideal. When you can do that, you should be having some pretty big success."