American Football Database

The Dallas Cowboys are professional American football team based in Dallas, Texas. The Cowboys team is a franchise of the National Football League (NFL) and plays in the East Division of the National Football Conference. The first draft in which the Cowboys participated was the 1961 NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting, more commonly known as the NFL Draft.[1] In the NFL Draft, each NFL franchise annually adds new players to its roster. Teams are ranked in reverse order based on their records during the previous season, therefore the team with the worst record selects first. There are two exceptions to this order: the Super Bowl champion from the previous season selects last, and the Super Bowl runner-up selects second to last. Teams have the option of trading away their selections to other teams for different selections, players, cash, or any combination thereof. It is common, therefore, for the actual draft selection of a team to differ from their initial assigned draft selection or for a team to have either extra selections or no selections in any round because of such trades.[2]

All-time first-round draft selections

Hall of Famer † [3] Pro Bowler * [4]
Year Pick Player College Position Notes
1961 13 Bob Lilly †  TCU Defensive Tackle [5]
1962 No Pick [6]
1963 6 Lee Roy Jordan *  Alabama Linebacker
1964 4 Scott Appleton Texas Offensive Tackle [7]
1965 5 Craig Morton California Quarterback
1966 5 John Niland *  Iowa Offensive Guard
1967 No Pick [8]
1968 20 Dennis Homan Alabama Defensive End
1969 24 Calvin Hill *  Yale Running back
1970 23 Duane Thomas West Texas St. Running back
1971 25 Tody Smith USC Defensive End
1972 26 Bill Thomas Boston College Running back
1973 20 Billy Joe Dupree *  Michigan State Tight End
1974 1 Ed "Too Tall" Jones *  Tennessee State Defensive End
22 Charley Young North Carolina St. Running back
1975 2 Randy White †  Maryland Linebacker
18 "Hollywood" Henderson *  Langston Linebacker
1976 27 Aaron Kyle Wyoming Defensive Back
1977 2 Tony Dorsett †  (Heisman Trophy Winner)[9] Pittsburgh Running back
1978 28 Larry Bethea Michigan State Defensive End
1979 27 Robert Shaw Tennessee Center
1980 No Pick
1981 26 Howard Richards Missouri Tackle
1982 25 Rod Hill Kentucky State Defensive Back
1983 23 Jim Jeffcoat Arizona State Defensive End
1984 25 Billy Cannon, Jr. Texas A&M Linebacker
1985 17 Kevin Brooks Michigan Defensive End
1986 18 Mike Sherrard UCLA Wide Receiver
1987 12 Danny Noonan Nebraska Defensive Tackle
1988 11 Michael Irvin †  Miami Wide Receiver
1989 1 Troy Aikman †  UCLA Quarterback
1990 17 Emmitt Smith †  Florida Running back
1991 1 Russell Maryland *  Miami Defensive Tackle
12 Alvin Harper Tennessee Wide Receiver
20 Kelvin Pritchett Mississippi Defensive Tackle
1992 17 Kevin Smith Texas A&M Defensive Back
24 Robert Jones South Carolina State Linebacker
1993 No Pick
1994 23 Shante Carver Arizona State Defensive End
1995 No Pick
1996 No Pick
1997 22 David LaFleur LSU Tight End
1998 8 Greg Ellis *  UNC Defensive End
1999 20 Ebenezer Ekuban UNC Defensive End
2000 No Pick
2001 No Pick
2002 8 Roy Williams *  Oklahoma Safety
2003 5 Terence Newman *  Kansas State Cornerback
2004 No Pick The Cowboys traded this first round selection (22nd overall) to the Buffalo Bills for Bills' second round selection (43rd overall), fifth round selection (144th overall), and first round selection in 2005.
2005 11 DeMarcus Ware *  Troy State Linebacker
20 Marcus Spears Louisiana State Defensive End The Cowboys received this selection from the Buffalo Bills as well as the Bills' selections in 2004 in the second (43rd overall) and fifth rounds (144th overall) for the Cowboys' first round selection in 2004 (22nd overall).
2006 18 Bobby Carpenter Ohio State Linebacker
2007 26 Anthony Spencer Purdue Linebacker Dallas traded their original first round selection (22nd overall) to the Cleveland Browns for the Browns' first round selection in 2008 and the Browns' second round selection (36th overall) in this draft. Dallas then traded that additional second round selection (32nd overall), their third round selection (87th overall), and their fifth round selection (159th overall) to the Philadelphia Eagles for the Eagles' first round selection (26th overall).
2008 22 Felix Jones Arkansas Running Back The Cowboys received this selection from the Cleveland Browns as well as the Browns' second round selection (36th overall) in 2007 for the Cowboys first round selection in 2007 (22nd overall).
25 Mike Jenkins *  South Florida Cornerback Dallas received this selection from the Seattle Seahawks for Dallas' original first-round selection (28th overall) and Dallas' fifth- and seventh-round selections (163rd and 235th).
2009 No Pick The Cowboys traded their 20th overall pick (first round), the 82nd overall picks (third round), and 192nd overall pick (sixth round) in the 2009 draft for wide receiver Roy Williams from the Detroit Lions. The Cowboys received a seventh round pick from the Lions in the 2010 draft.
2010 24 Dez Bryant Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Dallas traded their original first round and third round selection (27th and 90th overall) to the New England Patriots for the Patriots' first round selection and a fourth-round selection in 2010 to select Dez Bryant over the Baltimore Ravens.
2011 9 Tyron Smith USC Offensive Tackle
2012 6 Morris Claiborne LSU Cornerback


  1. Before their initial NFL Draft, the Cowboys franchise participated in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft.
  2. Alder, James. ""NFL Draft Basics:Determining Order of Selection"". Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  3. Players are identified as a Hall of Famer if they have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  4. Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro Bowl at any time in their career.
  5. The Cowboys took Lilly with their second first-round selection. Their first selection, the second overall, was traded to the Washington Redskins for Eddie LeBaron. The Redskins selected quarterback Norm Snead of Wake Forest with that selection. The Cowboys traded their first selection in the 1962 to the Cleveland Browns for Offensive Tackle Paul Dickson and the Browns' first selection in 1961, the thirteenth selection, with which the Cowboys selected Lilly. "1962 Draft". Pro Football Hall of Fame website. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  6. The Cowboys traded their first selection in 1962 to the Cleveland Browns for Offensive Tackle Paul Dickson.
  7. Scott Appleton signed with the Houston Oilers of the American Football League.
  8. The Cowboys traded their selection to the Houston Oilers for the rights to linebacker George Webster.
  9. Tony Dorsett, 1976 Heisman Trophy winner "42nd Award Winner". Retrieved 2008-08-04.[dead link]