The Dallas Cowboys are tied with the New England Patriots with 79 total players since 2000 that have been drafted and selected to the Pro Bowl or to the AP 1st-Team Selections.
Examining the list above, there is a clear disparity as the Patriots are the only team in the top eight to have won a Super Bowl since 2000. The Patriots numbers are a bit skewed as Tom Brady has single-handedly accounted for 12 of the Pro Bowl appearances. That being said, there is real telling information in the graphic as the bottom ten teams have not won a Super Bowl since 2000.
As the NFL Draft approaches, this dataset serves to remind Cowboys Nation that the Dallas Cowboys front office is talented and has a knack of selecting great players. There have been clear mistakes (or gambles) over the years, particularly with Dwayne Goodrich (Round 2, 2000), Bobby Carpenter (Round 1, 2006), Felix Jones (Round 1, 2008), Bruce Carter (Round 2, 2011), Gavin Escobar (Round 2, 2013) and Randy Gregory (Round 2, 2015). More often than not, though, the Dallas Cowboys prime themselves every April for long-term success.
Moving forward, the challenge remains to translate the draft success into playoff wins. I think it is the series of injuries to Tony Romo and a few fatal mistakes over the years that prevented Dallas from competing with the NFC to earn a spot in the Super Bowl. In today’s NFL, the key pillars in any organization are the general manager, head coach and quarterback. For all practical purposes, barring a catastrophic 2017 season, Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett and Dak Prescott will remain in those positions for a number of years. This combined with the youth at running back, offensive line, wide receiver and linebacker will keep Dallas competitive for the foreseeable future.
In order to take the final leap to perennial Super Bowl contender, Dallas will need good health, an improved pass rush and an impact player in the secondary. Let’s hope this years draft can add a couple of more future Pro Bowl and First Team All Pro selections.