- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- Hey, want in on a little secret? Come a little closer, OK? And be quiet.
You ready? Jerry Jones might not be as bad at drafting NFL players as many believe.
If we use Pro Bowl selections as a barometer, which can be dicey, then Jones ranks near the top of the league. Sometimes the Pro Bowl picks are injury replacements and were second-, third- or possibly fourth-alternates depending on whether the first-team picks were injured or playing in the Super Bowl.
Of the 2006-13 group all seven were one-time picks: Anthony Spencer (2012), Nick Folk (2007), Jason Hatcher (2013), DeMarco Murray (2013), Tyron Smith (2013), Dez Bryant (2013) and Mike Jenkins (2009).
Smith and Bryant have the best chance to be perennial Pro Bowlers.
The 2003-13 group consisted of five players and four made multiple Pro Bowl appearances: Terence Newman (two), Jason Witten (nine), DeMarcus Ware (seven), Marion Barber (one) and Jeremiah Ratliff (four).
Assessing a successful draft on Pro Bowls is not the best process, and the high number of Cowboys might show how top-heavy this team has been. Successful drafts are about finding starters in every round, or at least contributors over a four-year period, whether they sign second contracts with the team or not.
The Cowboys have been able to find Pro Bowlers, but Jones has not been good enough in being able to supplement those players with the bulk of their picks.
That’s a big reason why this team has missed the playoffs the past four seasons.