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October 20, 2011

Cowboys' 2011 draft class takes another hit

The Cowboys appear to have hit on their first-round draft pick, right tackle Tyron Smith. Seventh-round pick Bill Nagy had a starting spot too, at left guard, before a broken ankle sent him to injured reserve this week. But only two other rookies besides Smith are on the 53-player roster: third-round pick DeMarco Murray could start in place of Felix Jones on Sunday; and fourth-round pick David Arkin is buried on the depth chart at guard. Second-round pick Bruce Carter practiced for the first time in his pro career Wednesday and soon is expected to be promoted to the active roster from the non-football injury list.

Reciever Dwayne Harris, a sixth-round pick, was re-signed to the practice squad after being waived Tuesday. He will join fullback Shaun Chapas, a seventh-round pick. Cornerback Josh Thomas, a fifth-round pick, was released before the season and claimed by Carolina.

The Cowboys have only three of six draft picks remaining from their 2010 draft (Dez Bryant, Sean Lee and Sean Lissemore) and only four of 12 from 2009 (Stephen McGee, Victor Butler, David Buehler and John Phillips). They do have eight players on their roster who made the team as undrafted free agents over the past three seasons.

"I think it's important that you make the right decisions for your football team on draft day, and then once draft day is over, I think the worst mistake an organization can make is to say we drafted these guys, we're keeping these guys so you can say publicly, 'Look we have eight draft picks on our team,'" Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "I think that's a bad decision. So we try to create a competitive environment and we've been very happy with some of our draft picks so far and the role they're going to have for our football team now and in the future. And when we draft some of those guys in the later rounds, hopefully your team is good enough where it is hard for those guys to make your football team.

"And in other cases we have had free agent guys step up and have a little role on our team. I think when you look at our rookie class we feel real good about the guys that we drafted or signed competing for spots on our roster and roles on our roster."

-- Charean Williams



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