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May 07, 2012

Cowboys don't often pick back-to-back in the top 10, but twice before, it has meant something 'Super'

When the Cowboys selected Morris Claiborne two weeks ago in the NFL draft, it marked only the fourth time in club history that they made back-to-back picks in the top 10.

The team picked Claiborne at No. 6. It followed the previous April selection of offensive tackle Tyron Smith at No. 9.

Two selections in a row that high could be a sign of good things to come.

In 1974 and ’75, the team took defensive end Too Tall Jones at No. 1 and defensive tackle Randy White at No. 2. Those choices served as the foundation for two Super Bowl teams and a 68-27 record over the next six years.

In the 1960s, the Cowboys had four consecutive top-10 picks. They took linebacker Lee Roy Jordan at No. 6 in 1963, then defensive tackle Scott Appleton at No. 4 in 1964, quarterback Craig Morton at No. 5 in 1965 and guard John Niland at No. 5 in 1966.

The Cowboys made the playoffs every year from 1966 to ’73, reaching six conference championship games and two Super Bowls.

But a string of top-10 picks is not a sure thing.

In 2002 and 2003, the Cowboys picked safety Roy Williams at No. 8 and cornerback Terence Newman at No. 5. The Cowboys had only four playoff seasons (and only one playoff win) from 2003 until Newman’s departure this year. Williams left the Cowboys in 2009.

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez


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There is one big difference between the last two years' first round picks and the first round picks in '74 and '75. In those years we took guys who were difference makers. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see us winning a Super Bowl anytime soon with an undrafted free agent quarterback leading this team.

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