With the NFL Draft less than 100 days away, I couldn’t help thinking about the Dallas Cowboys’ draft class that’s about to “graduate” into free agency. Perhaps there aren’t any big names among them, but they have certainly impacted the Cowboys over the last few years. In hindsight though, the Cowboys’ 2017 draft class was… not great.

It’s interesting to look back on it. It was supposed to be a big year in the Draft for the Cowboys. 2016 featured an insane rookie season from Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott and it was the perfect time to build on it. With Tony Romo’s retirement, the Cowboys were about to dive head-first into a new era.

Surrounding Prescott with top players during his rookie deal seemed essential. And while Dak has enjoyed the benefits of a good offensive line, a top-tier running back, and good wide receivers, the 2017 Draft simply didn’t turn out the way the Cowboys wanted.

Just take a look at the players from that rookie class:

As you very well know, DE Taco Charlton never quite developed like the Cowboys envisioned. At this point, it’s impossible to mention Charlton without adding that the team could’ve landed T.J. Watt instead of the former Michigan Wolverine.

The team wasn’t content with his development and after failing to find a trade partner, Charlton was released by the Cowboys two weeks into the 2019 season. This would make Charlton the first-round pick to last the shortest in franchise history that didn’t involve a career-ending injury. Since then, Taco has played with the Dolphins and the Chiefs in limited snaps.

As for the Dallas Cowboys’ Day 2 picks, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, things are pretty interesting right now. Both are set to become free agents in March and it’s unclear whether any of them will receive an offer to remain with the Cowboys. At times, their play has been promising but neither has been consistent enough to warrant a lucrative extension.

Awuzie ranked 96th in Pro Football Focus’ player grades while Jourdan Lewis graded as the 107th best cornerback in the NFL out of 121 qualifying players. Rookie Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown both ranked higher than the two 2017 Draft picks.

But truth be told, if the Dallas Cowboys decide to bring back any of them, the cornerback room would still be in need of an upgrade. Lewis has proven flexibility to play safety, but one has to question if that’s enough for him to stick around a little longer.

Although the two of them managed to earn starting roles for most of their four years in Dallas, they never quite met expectations. After being drafted by the Cowboys in 2017, many expected them to be a great duo at CB in the future, but they never quite got there.

Meanwhile, sixth-rounder Safety Xavier Woods has been a starter for most of his career as he’s had his ups and downs. Similar to Awuzie, Woods is a candidate to return to Dallas if the price is right. Of course, Dan Quinn’s scheme will need a fast and rangy free safety, so expect that to have a big impact on Woods’ future with the Cowboys.

As for the rest of the class, Noah Brown has had a limited role, yet for a seventh-round draft pick, he was a success for the Cowboys even if he’s played his last snap with a Star on his helmet. Ryan Switzer seemed to have a future with the team for a while before being traded to the Raiders after his rookie season. Switzer spent 2020 as a practice squad member for the Cleveland Browns.

But as fun as it is to look back, the Cowboys are officially on to 2021. They’ll have a Top 10 pick and a great opportunity to build on a team that’s expected to be a Super Bowl contender next season.

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