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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Cowboys' 2005 draft class has staying power

By Calvin Watkins

When Chris Canty officially signed a deal with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday it reminded me of one of the best Cowboys draft classes in some time: the class of 2005.

That draft class produced seven-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys' first-round pick, another Pro Bowler in running back Marion Barber, who was selected in the fourth round, and Jay Ratliff, who was taken in the seventh round and has been a Pro Bowler, as well.

What makes this class so good? 1. Bill Parcells had something to do with it. 2. Jerry Jones convinced Parcells that Marcus Spears would be around later in the first round; he was. 3. Starters were produced.

Of the eight players taken by the Cowboys in that draft, Ware, Spears, Kevin Burnett, Canty, Rob Petitti and Ratliff made the Cowboys roster. Ratliff, Ware and Spears still remain with the team. (UPDATE: The Cowboys will part ways with Spencer.)

Petitti, fellow sixth-round pick Justin Beriault and Barber are currently out the league.

But overall, the 2005 class has staying power. It's expected that Burnett will get a job somewhere, and if Spears gets released -- his status is uncertain at this stage -- he will find another gig, as well.

When you think about what the Cowboys will and won't do in free agency, think about the good things they've done in the draft -- especially the 2005 class.