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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
'09 draft class is dreadful dozen

By Tim MacMahon

Maybe it’s a bit harsh to label an entire draft class a bust after only 18 months. But the contributions from the Cowboys’ class of 2009 are pretty close to nothing in what Jerry Jones considered to be their “redshirt rookie” season.

Fifth-round safety Michael Hamlin, who was released Tuesday, became the fourth player from the 12-man class to be cut by the Cowboys. Three of them were defensive backs that the Cowboys hoped would provide a much-needed boost of playmaking in the back end of their defense.

Sixth-round linebacker Stephen Hodge has yet to play a down, spending last season on injured reserve and this season on the physically unable to perform list.

Sixth-round tight end John Phillips has been the best player in the class, but he’s out for the season with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason opener.

Kicker David Buehler is the only other player from the class who has made a significant contribution. He led the NFL in touchbacks as a kickoff specialist last season, but he’s been shaky as the placekicker this season. Buehler is 6-of-9 on field goals, with each missing coming on a clutch kick.

Third-round linebacker Jason Williams just cracked the nickel linebacker rotation last game. Third-round offensive tackle Robert Brewster, who missed all of last season with a torn pectoral, is inactive on game days. So is fourth-round outside linebacker Brandon Williams, who sat last season with a torn ACL.

Fourth-round quarterback Stephen McGee provided some hope that he’s a worthy project with a solid performance while playing the entire game in the preseason finale. Fourth-round outside linebacker Victor Butler has progressed to the point where DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer can take a few plays off each game.

But there’s nothing close to an impact player in this class. There isn’t even a guy who looks like a future starter.

Of course, Jerry put himself in a tough position by dealing first- and third-round picks to Detroit. Well, at least Roy Williams is finally producing.