Cowboys all-time best/worst draft picks: Defensive linemen


Cowboys all-time best/worst draft picks: Defensive linemen
Dallas Morning News
By Staff reports

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Randy White was a linebacker at Maryland but the Cowboys saw him as a defensive end when they drafted him second overall in 1975.

In 2010, SportsDay’s Dallas Cowboys beat writers examined the best draft picks by the team at each position since 1967, the year the AFL and NFL stopped drafting the same players. This has revisions from the 2010 draft.

Randy White, Maryland
1975, first round (No. 2 overall)

Tom Landry moved White to linebacker his first two years in the league. That experiment never worked. Once White was moved back to the defensive tackle position he played in college, his career took off.

White was named All-Pro a franchise record eight times. He played in six NFC Championship Games, three Super Bowls and was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1978. He missed only one game in his career and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in ’94.

Harvey Martin, East Texas State

1973, third round (No. 53 overall)

Martin led the team in sacks seven times during his 11 seasons. He had 23 sacks during the 1977 season (the league did not recognize this stat until the ’82 season) and was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Martin was named to four Pro Bowls and, along with White, was the co-MVP of Super Bowl XII.

Honorable mention: Ed Jones (first round, 1974), Pat Donovan (fourth round, 1975), Russell Maryland (first round, 1991), Leon Lett (seventh round, 1991), Jay Ratliff (seventh round, 2005).

Kevin Brooks, Michigan
1985, first round (No. 17 overall)

Brooks held out and didn’t make much of a contribution once he did report. Brooks didn’t start until his third season and even then, didn’t make much of an impact. He played for the Cowboys for four seasons and finished with 12.5 sacks. He never forced a fumble.

Shante Carver, Arizona State
1994, first round (No. 23)

Please see Brooks above.

Nine years after taking Brooks in the first round, Carver didn’t provide much more of an impact. He also played for four seasons and finished with 11.5 sacks. Like Brooks, he never forced a fumble.

His biggest impact came with the Dallas Desperados in the Arena Football League.

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