- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cowboys drafted 12 players in 2009 in what was billed as a special-teams draft. What it became was one of the worst drafts in the last 10 years.
No starters were developed from the class and only six made the 53-man roster. Things started off on the wrong foot when the Cowboys began the draft without a first-round pick, handed to the Detroit Lions as part of the Roy Williams deal. The Cowboys traded their second-round choice to Buffalo for third- and fourth-round picks.
What did the Bills do with the pick?
Center Andy Levitre was selected at No. 53.
A review of the 2009 class:
Jason Williams. He was a third-round pick, 69th overall from Western Illinois. He did make the team but had little impact. Williams was supposed to be an outside linebacker with pass-rushing ability. He struggled to learn Wade Phillips' defense and didn't earn a single start. He played a career-high 14 games with the Carolina Panthers in 2011.
Robert Brewster. The tackle was a third-round pick (75th overall) from Ball State. Let's just say Brewster's body wasn't in shape from the moment he arrived at Valley Ranch. He was on the practice squad and that's about it. He never developed the strength necessary to be counted on to play in the NFL.
Stephen McGee. He was a backup who didn't develop. McGee struggled to convert from a quarterback who played out of the shotgun to someone who needed to take snaps under center. The fourth-round pick from Texas A&M stayed way too long before getting released last summer.
Victor Butler. The Cowboys had hopes their fourth-round pick (110th overall) would contribute on special teams and provide solid pass-rush skills. Butler was inconsistent with the Cowboys, and after visiting at least four NFL teams this offseason, he found a home with the Saints. Butler has potential but needs to solve the inconsistency problems.
Brandon Williams. The linebacker from Texas Tech was another fourth-round pick. The Fort Worth native played six games in 2010 and that was it. He didn't show much ability. He did battle some injuries but was inconsistent when healthy.
DeAngelo Smith. Smith was a fifth-round pick who didn't make the 53-man roster. The Cowboys thought he could be a solid cover guy, but he just didn't provide the club with enough confidence to make the team, let alone sustain a long-term career. Smith's claim to fame was getting beat by David Buehler in the 40 during training camp.
Michael Hamlin. The safety from Clemson was a fifth-round choice who did make the team but had little impact. He didn't contribute much on special teams. He played in four games with Jacksonville in 2010 and is out of the league.
David Buehler. The kicker from USC displayed a strong leg on kickoffs, but a groin injury in 2011 ended his time with the Cowboys. A fifth-round pick, Buehler converted 75 percent of his field goals, including a career-long 53-yarder. Consistency was an issue, and he didn't kick for anybody last season as he recovered from surgery on his groin. He signed with the New York Giants and could make the roster.
Stephen Hodge. The linebacker/safety from TCU just couldn't recover from his knee injuries. Hodge was projected as a special-teams ace, but his health prevented him from becoming one. This sixth-round pick just didn't work out.
John Phillips. The sixth-round tight end played well at times. He wasn't better than Martellus Bennett, a second-round pick from 2008. Phillips tore his ACL in the 2010 preseason opener and it slowed his progress. He was surpassed by James Hanna, a sixth-round pick in 2012, late last season. Phillips signed a free-agent deal with San Diego.
Mike Mickens. He was a seventh-round selection who is out of the league and didn't play any NFL games.
Manuel Johnson. Johnson was an East Texas favorite who made some plays in the preseason but never did enough to make the 53-man roster.