The Dallas Cowboys received a compensatory draft pick on Monday. The additional pick is a fourth-rounder and gives Dallas a total of eight draft picks to use in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Cowboys received the pick as compensation for losing defensive end Stephen Bowen, who signed with the Washington Redskins, through free agency last season.
The Cowboys have drafted some solid players in the middle-to-late rounds of the NFL Draft. Hall of Famers Bob Hayes, Roger Staubach and Rayfield Wright were all drafted in the third round or later along with over a dozen Pro Bowlers.
In fact, the Cowboys have drafted four Pro Bowlers in the fourth round of the NFL Draft during Dallas’ team history. They include: Stanford defensive end Pat Donovan in 1975, UTEP defensive end Tony Tolbert in 1989, Boston College guard Ron Stone in 1993 and Minnesota running back Marion Barber in 2005.
A recent fourth-round pick that had a breakout year in 2010 and then took a step back in ‘11 is right tackle Doug Free. While he’s a long way from the Hall of Fame, he very likely may play in several Pro Bowls before he retires.
The Cowboys’ compensatory fourth-round pick may prove to be much more valuable than it seems. Several star NFL players are taken in the later round of the NFL Draft every year. Heck, several Hall of Famers weren’t drafted at all!
If the Cowboys don’t get a stud in the first round, all is not lost. Dallas could easily uncover a Rayfield Wright in this year’s draft with this compensatory pick. As any old coach will tell you, “the more draft picks, the better.”