Morris Claiborne could be Jones' latest first-round hit
That trend continued this spring with the selection of LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. The Cowboys needed to upgrade the cornerback position, and it just so happened that there were two players the team was willing to trade up for: Claiborne and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
The Cowboys dealt with the St. Louis Rams and got Claiborne at No. 6.
Over the years, Jones has made the right calls on first-round draft picks. In 2011, needing to upgrade the tackle spot, the Cowboys selected Tyron Smith from USC. Smith started 16 games as a rookie at right tackle, but the objective was to eventually move him to the left side. That's where he will start this season.
The Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant in 2010. It wasn't a surprise pick for the Cowboys, who felt the wide receiver would fall in the draft. Bryant has had his share of off-the-field antics, including an episode in which he was banned from a mall, but no one can question his impact on the field. Bryant needs to stay healthy this season: He battled through an early-season thigh bruise in 2011 to become the playmaker the Cowboys thought he could be.
The Cowboys' 2009 draft was bad. There were no first-round picks, and of the 12 players selected only two -- Stephen McGee and Victor Butler -- remain with the team.
Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins were first-round selections in 2008. Both have earned starter snaps during their careers, and Jenkins became a Pro Bowler. His recent dispute with the Cowboys over potential playing time and his desire for a new contract shouldn't diminish his ability
Jones battled injuries but has shown flashes of brilliance.
At this stage of their careers, it likely Jenkins and Jones won't be Cowboys in 2013 as both are in the final year of their contracts.
Jerry Jones did mess up in selecting Bobby Carpenter in the first round in 2006, but that was with Bill Parcells trying to run things.
Jerry Jones gets plenty of criticism for his handling of the draft and free agency, but his first-round picks have been solid the last few years. If Claiborne develops into an elite corner, he should get the credit.
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