Zack Martin, Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons, and more talents have been selected by the Cowboys during their NFL-best drafting decade.

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For the Dallas Cowboys, May 8, 2014, was a pivotal night that helped shape their current state of affairs.

The 2014 NFL Draught took place on its opening night, and following some back-and-forth with the Jones family and other front office officials, Dallas decided to submit a card that said “Zack Martin, guard, Notre Dame” rather than “Johnny Manziel, quarterback, Texas A&M.”

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And it was that one, historic event that marked the beginning of the Cowboys’ incredible nearly ten-year streak of draught success. Because the Cowboys selected 11 players who went on to make either an All-Pro or Pro Bowl team in the nine years that followed.Although the class of 2023 hasn’t produced another Cowboys superstar just yet, Tyler Smith and DaRon Bland, the two 2022 draught picks, seem destined to be the two newest members of Dallas’ storied success tale fraternity.

The Cowboys have been drafting since 2014, when Martin was selected with the 16th overall pick. The 2023 class will be the tenth draught class. If Bland makes an All-Pro team, as he should, and Smith makes it into the Pro Bowl—yes, I realise it’s more of a popularity contest than anything else, but it’s still normally reserved for great players—that would make 13 of those illustrious Cowboys for Dallas in a decade.

I cannot leave out of this laudatory speech the likes of Randy Gregory, Maliek Collins, Xavier Woods, Chidobe Awuzie, Noah Brown, Dalton Schultz, Cedrick Wilson Jr., and Connor McGovern, who were selected by the Cowboys in the first round and went on to have outstanding careers with other NFL teams.

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But, the fact that eight out of the 11 Pro Bowl or All-Pros the Cowboys recruited have contributed to this 2023 squad or are now important players is what has allowed them to start the season with an 8-3 record and a league-best +162 point differential going into Week 13.

Furthermore, the squad doesn’t need to be filled with outstanding role players when you have a good drafting history and the ability to hit home runs in back-to-back draughts like Parsons, Diggs, and Lamb. Additionally, because so many of those big names are still on rookie contracts, the team has the financial flexibility to add veterans who would be ideal to complete the squad.

Enter Stephon Gilmore, the former Defensive Player of the Year, at cornerback and six-time 1,000-yard wide out Brandin Cooks in Dallas this season. Gilmore has two interceptions of his own and is second on the squad (behind Bland) in terms of pass breakups. Cooks leads the club in receiving touchdowns with four and 452 yards.

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Although Jerry and Stephen Jones play a significant role in the Cowboys pre-draft and in-game selection process, Will McClay, the club’s vice president of player personnel, should get most of the credit in this regard.

After joining the team in 2003 as a pro scout, he held the position of assistant director of player personnel in 2014 before rising to the position of senior director of pro and college scouting in 2015 and 2016. He has been in this role since 2017. He has been as essential to the Cowboys’ decision-making process as anybody, helping them choose players like Parsons, Prescott, Lamb, Pollard, and Diggs.

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The Cowboys’ reputation as the NFL’s top drafting club during the previous ten years is the cornerstone of where this dangerous team is today, especially in an era where star player movement through trades is more prevalent than ever and the chaos of March free agency seems to be surpassed every year.

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