The last time the Dallas Cowboys had the 18th overall pick, it was 2006. Dallas went with Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter, who started just three games in Big D before being traded and becoming a journeyman in 2010.
Carpenter was selected ahead of Tamba Hali, Johnathan Joseph, Nick Mangold, DeMeco Ryans, Greg Jennings, Maurice Jones-Drew, Jahri Evans, Brandon Marshall, Elvis Dumervil, Kyle Williams and Cortland Finnegan, which has to hurt.
Dallas hopes it has better luck with the No. 18 selection this time around. To give you a feel for what the 'Boys might be in for, here's a look at who's been picked in that spot since the turn of the century:
The seven guys in blue have either lived up to or exceeded expectations, while the five dudes in red have not. However, some might argue that Duckett and Pennington were far from being busts, so not all red lines were created equal here. The jury's still out on Ingram, who wasn't a big factor as a rookie in San Diego, which is why he's in green.
At the end of the day, I think Cowboys fans would be thrilled to end up with a player who can deliver the types of results Liuget, Pouncey, Pace, Smith and Backus have brought to the table at the NFL level. Flacco, too, obviously, but they won't likely be going the quarterback route this year.
The key is to avoid drafting another Carpenter or ending up with an Ayers or a James. That's a common risk in the middle of Round 1, but at least there's less pressure when you pick in the second half of the first round.
The Cowboys have fared extremely well with recent first-round picks. Now we'll see if their luck runs out or if they can find another blue name to add to that chart.
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