IRVING, Texas -- This week we will start focusing on prospects for the 2015 draft, but first let’s take a look back at the Dallas Cowboys’ 2014 draft.
First round: Zack Martin (16th overall)
Martin was a Day 1 starter at right guard and one of the best picks in the draft. Had Ryan Shazier been available, he would have been the Cowboys’ pick over Martin, but sometimes teams get lucky. Martin was a four-year starter at Notre Dame and made the transition from tackle to guard as smooth as possible. He was named to the Pro Bowl and became the first Cowboys rookie to earn All-Pro honors since 1969.
Second round: DeMarcus Lawrence (34th overall)
The Cowboys gave up their third rounder to move up to the 34th pick to take Lawrence, whom they rated as one of the three best right defensive ends in the draft. He missed the first eight games of the season with a broken foot suffered in training camp and did not record a sack in the regular season. He had two sacks in the playoffs, including a game-clinching stop of Matthew Stafford in the wild-card round after he mistakenly tried to return an earlier sack-fumble and fumbled the ball himself. With the addition of Greg Hardy, he is looking at a move to left defensive end in 2015 if he starts.
Fourth round: Anthony Hitchens (119th overall)
Many eyebrows were raised when the Cowboys took Hitchens with the 119th pick and promptly said they hoped he would be a backup to Sean Lee and a special teams stalwart. He ended the season as a starter and the coaches credited him with at 100 tackles. He started a game at every linebacker spot through last season, filling in at the middle, weak and strong sides because of injuries. While he was supposed to be a special teamer when he was picked, he didn’t have a special teams tackle. He more than made up for it with his work on defense.
Fifth round: Devin Street (146th overall)
Street was active for every game but had just two catches for 18 yards. When you’re behind Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley in the pecking order, it’s hard to put up numbers. But the coaches kept him active for a reason. They liked his development even if he didn’t get much action. He is a smooth route runner with some savvy to his game and enters 2015 with a chance to make an impact.
Seventh round: Ben Gardner (231st overall)
Gardner's rookie season was cut short because of reconstructive shoulder surgery. He never really had a chance to show what he can do, but the Cowboys hope he can develop into a jack-of-all-trades lineman with the ability to line up across their front in different situations. But he needs to show early on that he can contribute because there will be competition up front.
Seventh round: Will Smith (238th overall)
Smith was on and off the Cowboys’ practice squad during the season. If he makes the 53-man roster this year, he will have to show up on special teams.
Seventh round: Ahmad Dixon (248th overall)
Dixon made the 53-man roster coming out of training camp, but was cut when the Cowboys signed veteran C.J. Spillman to be the special teamer they hoped Dixon would be. He didn’t help himself with his attitude at times and he was late to a training-camp practice. He was on four different teams in 2014 and is currently on the Minnesota Vikings.
Seventh round: Ken Bishop (251st overall)
Bishop spent the first six weeks of the regular season on the roster, was active for three games and was credited with two tackles. He was cut and signed to the practice squad before getting called up for the playoffs. He played well in the divisional round loss to the Green Bay Packers and could find himself in the mix to start this season depending on how his offseason goes.
Seventh round: Terrance Mitchell (254th overall)
Mitchell was competitive and drew the ire of the wide receivers in training camp for being almost too feisty. Jason Garrett praised Mitchell during the summer, but he struggled with technique and the coaches felt he wouldn’t listen to what they were trying to tell him. He passed on a chance to re-sign on the Cowboys’ practice squad and joined the Chicago Bears’ practice squad before getting called up to the active roster midway through the season.