Dallas Cowboys: Robert Jones

Cowboys' 1991 draft earns high marks

April, 9, 2014
Apr 9
IRVING, Texas -- There was a time when the way the Dallas Cowboys ran their draft room was the envy of the league.

One of those years was back in 1991 and Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth ranked the Cowboys selecting Russell Maryland and Alvin Harper that year as ninth best on the all-time list of teams with two first-round picks.

The Cowboys actually had three first-round picks that year thanks to a deal with the Washington Redskins, but traded Kelvin Pritchett to the Detroit Lions for picks in the second, third and fourth rounds.

In Maryland, the top overall pick, the Cowboys got a vital piece to their vastly underrated defensive line. In Harper, the No. 12 pick, they got a complement to Michael Irvin who Norv Turner knew how to maximize.

In trading Pritchett, who had a solid career, the Cowboys got linebacker Dixon Edwards, guard James Richards and defensive end Tony Hill. Edwards was a starter, but Hill lasted two seasons and Richards didn’t make the team.

The Cowboys had two first-round picks in 1992, 2005 and 2008 as well.

In 1992, they took cornerback Kevin Smith (No. 17) and linebacker Robert Jones (No. 24), who became starters on Super Bowl teams. In 2005, they took outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (No. 11) and defensive tackle Marcus Spears (No. 20). Ware became the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks. In 2008, the Cowboys selected running back Felix Jones (No. 22) and cornerback Mike Jenkins (No. 25). Neither signed a second contract, although Jenkins had a Pro Bowl season.

Differences between 1992 and 2010

January, 25, 2010
There are a lot of similarities between the 1991 Cowboys and the 2009 Cowboys, as presented by ESPN Stats & Information's Alok Pattani.

However, there are some significant differences between the Cowboys of those days and today that you should consider before making Super Bowl parade plans.

Start with the drafts of those years.

Four players from the class of '91 -- DT Russell Maryland, WR Alvin Harper, RT Erik Williams and CB Larry Brown -- were full-time starters by their second seasons. LB Dixon Edwards and DT Leon Lett were significant contributors who developed into starters.

Will the class of '09 produce any starters? Kickoff specialist David Buehler and TE John Phillips were the only significant contributors as rookies.

The Cowboys also had a strong draft in 1992, when they selected three players who started for Super Bowl champions: CB Kevin Smith, LB Robert Jones and S Darren Woodson. But the biggest immediate impact move they made that offseason was trading for Pro Bowl DE Charles Haley.

Those moves helped the Cowboys go from the second round to three Super Bowls in four seasons.