NFL Draft First-Round Value: Where Cowboys Rank Since 2014

NFL Draft First-Round Value: Where Cowboys Rank Since 2014
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the NFL’s best drafting teams in the league for some time now. It’s very rare when they miss a first-round pick. And when they hit, they are usually selecting a future All-Pro player. But just how well have the Cowboys drafted compared to their peers over the last decade?, as part of its coverage of issues important to folks awaiting legal Texas sports betting in the state, turned to the Pro-Football-Reference website to find data on how well every team has drafted in the first round since 2014. The idea was to find the total approximate value (AV) of all the first-round picks by a specific team and then average it out by number of picks.

So which teams performed the best? And how do the Dallas Cowboys rank? Let’s dive into the data:

Draft 1st-Round Value By Team Since 2014

RankTeamTotal Approximate Value# of 1st Round Draft PicksAverage Approximate Value Per Pick
1Los Angeles Rams285471.3
2Dallas Cowboys372941.3
3Chicago Bears253736.1
4Buffalo Bills322935.8
5Tampa Bay Buccaneers312934.7
6Kansas City Chiefs235733.6
7Baltimore Ravens4281332.9
8Indianapolis Colts174629.0
T-9Carolina Panthers2891028.9
T-9Miami Dolphins3181128.9
11Pittsburgh Steelers258928.7
12San Francisco 49ers3141128.5
13New York Giants3401228.3
14Cleveland Browns3371228.1
15New Orleans Saints3361228.0
16Atlanta Falcons3051127.7
17Tennessee Titans2981127.1
18Las Vegas Raiders3151226.3
19Los Angeles Chargers2871126.1
20Denver Broncos203825.4
21Arizona Cardinals226925.1
22Detroit Lions3001225.0
23Washington Commanders2461024.6
24Jacksonville Jaguars2901224.2
25Minnesota Vikings2411024.1
26Houston Texans183822.9
27New York Jets2861322.0
T-28Cincinnati Bengals1911019.1
T-28Green Bay Packers1911019.1
30Philadelphia Eagles1881018.8
31New England Patriots136817.0
32Seattle Seahawks110715.7

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Cowboys Have Had Great First-Round Value

The Cowboys have been on a heater when it comes to drafting in Round 1 since 2014. Their first pick of that year was offensive lineman Zack Martin, who is a shoo-in for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Martin has played 10 seasons in the NFL, making nine Pro Bowls and seven All-Pro teams. He could wind up being the NFL’s best guard ever and the Cowboys stole him at pick No. 16.

Two years later, the Cowboys selected Ezekiel Elliott with pick No. 4 in the 2016 NFL Draft. Drafting a running back that high certainly brings a lot of controversy, but Elliott was a star in Dallas. In seven seasons with the Cowboys, Elliott scored 80 touchdowns and totaled over 10,000 yards from scrimmage. He was the best back in the NFL for several years and was the focal point of some really good offenses.

Dallas carried that keen drafting ability into 2020s. CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons and Tyler Smith were all selected in Round 1 in consecutive seasons, and all made the NFL’s All-Pro Team in 2023. Lamb, Parsons and Smith are all among the best players at their respective positions and cornerstones for the Cowboys moving forward.

Why Cowboys Are Not No. 1

The only reason why the Cowboys aren’t No. 1 on this list is that franchise quarterback Dak Prescott was a fourth-round pick in 2016. Jared Goff (2016) continues to post great numbers in Detroit and improves the average AV for the Rams in the past 10 years, according to The Cowboys found their franchise QB outside of the first round, which is another reason they are among the best drafting teams in the league.

The Cowboys haven’t had the postseason success they’d like over the last decade, but there is no doubting their ability to draft. Their track record speaks for itself and their hit rate, even starting back in the early 2010s with Tyron Smith (2010) and Dez Bryant (2011), is a marvel. Two first-round draft picks for the Cowboys are among the NFL’s players who most deserve a Super Bowl in recent season.



Marcus Mosher covers the NFL, NFL Draft and NFL news for The host of the Locked On Cowboys podcast, Marcus also has been the managing editor of The Raiders Wire and contributor to The Athletic DFW, Pro Football Weekly, FanSided and FanRag Sports.

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