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Top 10: Solid Role Players Among Best 5th-Rounders But One Stands Out Most

With the NFL Draft less than a month away, the Cowboys are not alone among teams trying to create their board, filled with top-line players all the way to the hidden gems.

Every round has examples of great players and the fifth-round is no exception.

So for the next seven weeks, leading up to the NFL Draft in late-April, let's focus on the best players the Cowboys have collected in each of the seven rounds.  

This week, let's focus on the 10 best fifth-round picks in Cowboys history.

Take a look at's rankings of the top 10 5th round picks in Cowboys history.

10. Andy Frederick (1977) –Only Herschel Walker played more career games in Cowboys history than Walker, although the second half of his career was with Cleveland and Chicago. Frederick was a key reserve for most of his career, but he did start five games in 1978 as the Cowboys made a run to Super Bowl XIII, but came up short in their chance to repeat.

9. Matt Lehr –Drafted during the Cowboys' down years of the early 2000s, Lehr was a versatile lineman who could play both guard and center. In 2003, Bill Parcells took over and quickly moved Lehr to center, where he started 16 games as the Cowboys made it to the playoffs. Lehr later started 26 games for the Falcons.

8. Gary Hogeboom (1980) – He was involved in one of the most debated quarterback controversies in team history. As the Cowboys struggled to get over the hump in the 80s, Hogeboom was able to compete for the starting job with Danny White, even prompting some players to choose sides. While Hogeboom won over some of his teammates, he only started 12 games before moving on to other teams. He got back in the spotlight again in 2005 when lasted 30 days on the ABC reality show "Survivor."

7. Steve Pelluer (1984) – One of the reasons Hogeboom was eventually allowed to move on was the Cowboys' willingness to play Pelluer. He also backed up White and became a starter due to injury in 1986. He only won nine games over three years, but didn't get much help around him on either side of the ball.

6. Darren Hambrick (1998) –Probably the most productive of the Hambrick brothers, although Troy nearly rushed for 1,000 yards in 2003. But Darren Hambrick was the Cowboys' leading tackler in 2000 with 154 stops. He had the athleticism of a safety but had some hard-hitting ability that made a rangy linebacker during his time.

[embeddedad0]5. Ron Springs (1979) –Just a do-it-all player for Tom Landry's offense in the early 80's. Springs was never the lead back having to split reps with Tony Dorsett. But he could run, catch, block and even throw (connecting with Danny White on a TD pass in 1983).   

  1. Walt Garrison (1966) –A true "Cowboy," Garrison was known for his toughness and once receiving a horse trailer as a signing bonus. His entire nine-year career was spent in Dallas, where Garrison was also a versatile player who had many roles for the Cowboys' offense. While he was never considered the lead back, he blocked as a fullback, caught the ball out of the backfield and could handle the ball. In all, Garrison scored 30 touchdowns during his career.

3. Orlando Scandrick (2008) – One of the best slot cornerbacks in the NFL during his time, and certainly in franchise history. Scandrick wasn't even the featured corner from his draft class, which included first-round pick Mike Jenkins. While it took a few years for Scandrick to become a starter, he was immediately inserted into the slot position, one of the toughest places to play on the field. He hasn't made a Pro Bowl, but that he's still one of the best fifth-rounders the Cowboys have ever had.

2. Blaine Nye (1968) –A seven-year starter, Nye was one of the first great offensive linemen in Cowboys history alongside John Niland and of course, Rayfield Wright. Nye earned two Pro Bowls as he started 96 career games with the Cowboys. Like Garrison, Nye spent his entire nine-year career with the Cowboys, playing in three Super Bowls.

1.   Herschel Walker (1985) –There are a few elements here that make Walker the easy choice for the top spot. For starters, the Cowboys had the foresight to draft Walker, a star player in the USFL with the vision the league might eventually fold. When it did, Walker's draft rights went to Dallas, which used a fifth-rounder the year before. Walker then became one of the NFL's best running backs and was the only tradable player on the roster in 1989 when Jerry Jones bought the team. The Cowboys used Walker to make the NFL's most significant trade of all time, shipping him to the Vikings for a bundle of draft picks that eventually landed the likes of Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson and many other key starters that guided the Cowboys to three Super Bowls in a four-year span. Walker wasn't the piece to put the Vikings over the top and he played with the Eagles and Giants before returning to the Cowboys for two years in 1996-97.

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