Sports
17 voters

The Best Dallas Cowboys First-Round Picks In The NFL Draft

Updated July 26, 2019 230 votes 17 voters48 items

List RulesBased only on career success with Dallas Cowboys. Only picks made during Super Bowl era (since 1967).

The Dallas Cowboys' first-round draft picks have been a mixed bag when it comes to the final results throughout the years. Many iconic players like Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, and Troy Aikman, some of the best NFL players of all time,  have provided memories Cowboys fans will treasure forever. However, there have been a number of NFL draft busts, as well, to even things out.

After winning three Super Bowls in the '90s, cementing their status as one of the best NFL franchises of all time, the Cowboys have had trouble achieving that success again. Recent Cowboys draft picks like Ezekiel Elliott will try to change that.

But who has been the top first-round draft pick in Cowboys history? The stats below reflect only players' time spent with the Cowboys, and that's what you should consider when voting. How much did these players help the team that drafted them?

  • 1
    Troy Aikman

    Overall selection: 1 (1989)

    Stats
    165 games, 32,942 passing yards (165 touchdowns), 1,016 rushing yards (9 touchdowns)

    Achievements
    3× Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX),
    Super Bowl MVP (XXVII)
    6× Pro Bowl (1991–1996)

  • 2
    Leighton Vander Esch

    Overall selection: 19 (2018)

    Stats
    16 games, 140 tackles, 2 interceptions

    Achievements
    Pro Bowl (2018)
    Second-team All-Pro (2018)

  • 3
    Emmitt Smith

    Overall selection: 17 (1990)

    Stats
    201 games, 17,162 rushing yards (143 touchdowns), 3,012 receiving yards (11 touchdowns)

    Achievements
    3× Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
    Super Bowl MVP (XXVIII)
    8× Pro Bowl (1990–1995, 1998, 1999)
    4× First-team All-Pro (1992–1995)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1993)
    NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1990)

  • 4
    Randy White

    Overall selection: 2 (1975)

    Stats
    209 games, 10 fumble recoveries

    Achievements
    Super Bowl champion (XII)
    Super Bowl Co-MVP (XII)
    9× Pro Bowl (1977–1985)
    9× First-team All-Pro (1977–1985)
    NFL 1980s All-Decade Team

  • 5
    Tyron Smith
    9
    2

    Tyron Smith

    Overall selection: 9 (2011)

    Stats
    118 games, 3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery

    Achievements
    6× Pro Bowl (2013–2018)
    2× First-team All-Pro (2014, 2016)
    2× Second-team All-Pro (2013, 2015)

  • 6
    Michael Irvin

    Overall selection: 11 (1988)

    Stats
    159 games, 11,904 receiving yards (65 touchdowns)

    Achievements
    3× Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
    5× Pro Bowl (1991–1995)
    First-team All-Pro (1991)

  • 7
    Ezekiel Elliott

    Overall selection: 4 (2016)

    Stats
    40 games, 4,048 rushing yards (28 touchdowns), 135 receiving yards (6 touchdowns)

    Achievements
    2× Pro Bowl (2016, 2018)
    First-team All-Pro (2016)
    Second-team All-Pro (2018)

  • 8
    DeMarcus Ware

    Overall selection: 11 (2005)

    Stats
    141 games, 574 tackles, 117 sacks, 32 forced fumbles

    Achievements
    7× Pro Bowl (2006–2012)
    4× First-team All-Pro (2007–2009, 2011)
    3× Second-team All-Pro (2006, 2010, 2012)

  • 9
    Travis Frederick

    Overall selection: 31 (2013)

    Stats
    80 games, 3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery

    Achievements
    4× Pro Bowl (2014–2017)
    2× First-team All-Pro (2014, 2016)
    Second-team All-Pro (2015)

  • 10
    Aaron Kyle

    Overall selection: 27 (1976)

    Stats
    60 games, 6 interceptions

    Achievements
    Super Bowl champion (XII)

  • 11
    Alvin Harper

    Overall selection: 12 (1991)

    Stats
    65 games, 2,486 receiving yards (18 touchdowns)

    Achievements
    2× Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII)

  • 12
    Anthony Spencer

    Overall selection: 26 (2007)

    Stats
    104 games, 390 tackles, 33 sacks, 14 forced fumbles

    Achievements
    Pro Bowl (2012)

  • 13
    Billy Joe DuPree

    Overall selection: 20 (1973)

    Stats
    159 games, 3,565 receiving yards (41 touchdowns)

    Achievements
    3× Pro Bowl (1976, 1977, 1978)
    Super Bowl champion (XII)

  • 14
    Bobby Carpenter

    Overall selection: 18 (2006)

    Stats
    58 games, 96 tackles, 3.5 sacks

  • 15
    Calvin Hill

    Overall selection: 24 (1969)

    Stats
    73 games, 1,166 rushing yards (39 touchdowns), 1,359 receiving yards (6 touchdowns)

    Achievements
    Super Bowl champion (VI)
    4× Pro Bowl (1969, 1972–1974)
    2× All-Pro (1969, 1973)
    NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1969)

  • 16
    Danny Noonan

    Overall selection: 12 (1987)

    Stats
    73 games, 15 sacks

    Achievements
    Super Bowl champion (XXVII)

  • 17
    David LaFleur

    Overall selection: 22 (1997)

    Stats
    60 games, 729 receiving yards (12 touchdowns)

  • 18
    Dennis Homan

    Overall selection: 20 (1968)

    Stats
    31 games, 437 receiving yards (1 touchdown)

  • 19
    Duane Thomas

    Overall selection: 23 (1970)

    Stats
    25 games, 1596 rushing yards (16 touchdowns), 226 receiving yards (2 touchdowns)

    Achievements
    Super Bowl champion (VI)

  • 20
    Ebenezer Ekuban

    Overall selection: 20 (1999)

    Stats
    60 games, 111 tackles, 12.5 sacks

  • 21
    Ed Jones

    Overall: 1 (1974)

    Stats
    224 games, 19 fumble recoveries

    Achievements
    Super Bowl champion (XII)
    3× Pro Bowl (1981–1983)
    3× All-Pro (1981–1983)

  • 22
    Felix Jones

    Overall selection: 22 (2008)

    Stats
    64 games, 569 rushing yards (11 touchdowns), 1,062 receiving yards (3 touchdowns)

  • 23
    Greg Ellis

    Overall selection: 6 (1998)

    Stats
    162 games, 500 tackles, 77 sacks, 20 forced fumbles

    Achievements
    Pro Bowl (2007)

  • 24
    Howard Richards

    Overall selection: 26 (1981)

    Stats
    69 games, 3 fumble recoveries

  • 25
    Jim Jeffcoat
    5
    0

    Jim Jeffcoat

    Overall selection: 23 (1983)

    Stats
    188 games, 696 tackles, 94.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles

    Achievements
    2× Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII)