The Dallas Cowboys adroitly moved up eight spots in the 2012 NFL Draft to select promising corner Morris Claiborne out of LSU. Two years earlier, more than 20 teams passed on Dez Bryant when Dallas took the multi-talented receiver with the No. 24 pick. In 2005, Dallas found value throughout its draft with the selections of DeMarcus Ware, Marion Barber, Chris Canty and Jay Ratliff.
A week removed from the draft, it is arguably a stretch to include this year's Cowboys' draft class in the same breath with the aforementioned groups that experienced immediate success in the league. A Cowboys' team source, however, disagrees.
“All in all, it was probably the most successful draft we've had in a while,” the source told Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The Cowboys are reportedly enamored with running back Joseph Randle (6-foot, 204 pounds), a powerful inside runner regarded for keeping his pads low in order to get yards after initial contact. Randle, a projected fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma State, was taken by the Cowboys with the No. 151 overall pick in the fifth round. With the expected departure of Felix Jones, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated this week that Randle will be used to spell injury-prone starter DeMarco Murray.
"We got a guy in the fifth round (Randle) we had on the board in the third,” the source told the Star-Telegram.
Dallas also used the draft to help open up its vertical passing game. The Cowboys selected former San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar in Round 2 and former Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams in Round 3. Last season, Williams led FBS in receiving yards per game with 140.92. Escobar was taken “right where he was projected to go,” the source said.
The team source admitted that the selection of former Wisconsin center Travis Frederick in the first round may have been a reach. As CBSSports.com's Ryan Wilson wrote last week, several Cowboys' personnel, including coach Jason Garrett, reportedly looked unhappy in the team's war room after the pick.
“Other than maybe the first round, we got good value,” the source told the Star-Telegram.
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