Tue. Sep 22nd, 2020

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Finding draft success in even years

3 min read
Finding draft success in even years


The Dallas Cowboys seem to dominate years that end with even numbers. That includes their recent draft classes. Is it pure superstition or something more?

Being a Dallas Cowboys fan means you want to give them the best chance to win. Many diehard fans have their rituals and superstitions each and every week America’s Team takes the field.

So let’s be superstitious here and acknowledge the Cowboys’ success in years that end with an even number in their recent history. They won the NFC East division in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

See the trend? If we plotted on a chart the year by year success of the Cowboys, the only logical forecast would be to predict another divisional championship in 2020. That’s the hope at least.

A major reason for the success of the Cowboys in even years though was the success of their draft classes each of those years and the immediate impact felt by them. In all three years, 2014, 2016, and 2018, Dallas dominated the draft with their ability to find instant starters.

The franchise will look to do this in 2020 to continue the mystical trend of even years for this football team. Instead of looking forward this week, let’s look back at the key picks for the Cowboys those years and the instant impact felt by having those rookies on the field.

2014

1st Round – Pick #16 Overall – Offensive Guard, Zack Martin
2nd Round – Pick #34 Overall – Defensive End, DeMarcus Lawrence

The Cowboys found two of the key staples of their franchises’ current identity in the first two rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft. Martin was the last piece to add to create the most dominant offensive line in the NFL.

Lawrence had a quiet regular season that year due to a foot injury but had the strip-sack of quarterback Matthew Stafford to end the 2014 NFC Wild Card game versus the Detroit Lions. Their impact still has years to grow as well.

2016

1st Round – Pick #4 Overall – Running Back, Ezekiel Elliott
2nd Round – Pick #34 Overall – Linebacker, Jaylon Smith
4th Round – Pick #134 Overall – Quarterback, Dak Prescott

Smith didn’t touch the field his rookie season for the Cowboys due to a knee injury suffered in his last game for Notre Dame. Quarterback Tony Romo was hurt in the preseason and the rest is history.

Prescott threw for 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions en route to 2016 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Elliott ran for over 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns as a rookie that year. The Cowboys went from 4-12 to 13-3 in just a season.

2018

1st Round – Pick #19 Overall – Linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch
2nd Round – Pick #50 Overall – Offensive Guard, Connor Williams
3rd Round – Pick #91 Overall – Wide Receiver, Michael Gallup

2017 went down the drains for the Cowboys following the Elliott suspension saga. 2018 was turned around fast due to the help of these three rookies. Vander Esch got a chance to take over for linebacker Sean Lee and never disappointed.

Williams should be a key piece to the offensive line moving forward. Gallup took a 500-yard receiving rookie season and doubled it to over 1,000 yards in 2019. All three are part of a bright future in Dallas.

Next: Unveiling the Dallas Cowboys 2010-19 All-Decade Team

If you’re a little superstitious like me, then you believe that 2020 will be the Dallas Cowboys year. And they’ll land atop the NFC East again. A strong 2020 draft will help, just like these three draft classes above helped lead the Cowboys to the playoffs every even year.

Dallas Cowboys superstitions: Finding draft success in even years



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