Dallas Cowboys: Top 10 Prospects
Mike Jenkins (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Mike Jenkins (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Scout.com NFL Draft Analyst
Posted May 11, 2010
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Scout.com's Chris Steuber continues the top 10 prospects series and goes from the AFC East to the NFC East, and begins with the Dallas Cowboys. In this series, an NFL prospect is classified as a player entering their third year in the NFL or under 25 years of age. Find out who the Cowboys top 10 prospects are entering the 2010 season.

Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
CB
5-10
198
3
25

As a rookie in 2008, Mike Jenkins showed promise playing in 14 games and starting three towards the end of the season, but he only amassed 19 tackles and one interception. However, this past year, that promise developed into lockdown ability, and Jenkins emerged as one of the league's best cornerbacks. He recorded 49 tackles and five interceptions, and for his efforts he was selected to his first Pro Bowl. There's a lot of pressure on Jenkins this season to be the leader in the secondary and continue his ascension as one of the game's elite corners.

Drafted by Dallas in the 1st Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
RB
5-10
218
3
23

After he ran for a touchdown on his first career carry in the NFL, Felix Jones had to feel that this professional football thing would be a breeze. And when you have his speed, why wouldn't you think that? But after just six weeks into his rookie season, Jones was sidetracked with a hamstring injury, and while rehabbing, he tore a ligament in his knee that cost him the rest of the season. Jones returned to the lineup healthy this past year and played in 14 games, starting one, and amassed 116 carries for 685 yards and three touchdowns. If Jones can stay healthy this season, it's likely that he will receive the majority of carries in Dallas.

Drafted by Dallas in the 1st Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
WR
6-2
220
R
21

One of the most talented players available in the 2010 draft, Dez Bryant fell in the lap of the Cowboys after concerns about his work ethic and character came to light this offseason. Even though there are concerns, nobody will doubt Bryant's talent and ability to be a game changer. He was suspended this past season after he violated an NCAA bylaw, but in the three games he played, Bryant hauled in 17 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns. Bryant will be involved in the offense immediately and could be the front runner to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Drafted by Dallas in the 1st Round (2010).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
TE
6-6
265
3
23

Martellus Bennett is the best tight end, that's not a starter, in the NFL. He has the size, speed and upside that you look for in a young pass catching threat. But as good as he is the biggest question is his motivation to play the game. Bennett had an outstanding rookie campaign in 2008 where he caught 20 passes for 283 yards and four touchdowns. This past season, he caught 15 passes for only 159 yards and no touchdowns. Entering his third year in the league, Bennett is just 23 years old and still learning the game. Playing behind Jason Witten gives him a chance to learn the ropes and develop into a complete player. This could be the season where he puts it all together and becomes a breakout performer.

Drafted by Dallas in the 2nd Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
LB
6-2
236
R
23

Injuries have stalled the progress of Sean Lee during his career at Penn State. A first round talent that fell to the second round due to his injury concerns, the Cowboys could be the beneficiary of those worries. This past season for Penn State, Lee recorded 86 tackles, 11 for a loss, two sacks and an interception in 10 games. With former first round bust Bobby Carpenter recently traded to the St. Louis Rams, Lee could find himself in contention for a starting job or, at the very least, a key contributor on defense.

Drafted by Dallas in the 2nd Round (2010).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
RB
5-10
212
3
25

Tashard Choice has been exceeding expectations since joining the Cowboys in 2008. He hasn't missed a game in two years, and as a rookie he was forced into the starting lineup for three games while Marion Barber and Felix Jones nursed injuries. Mostly used as a situational runner in a three-headed monster approach, Choice has carried the ball 156 times for 821 yards and five touchdowns during his career. As long as Barber and Jones are ahead of Choice on the depth chart, carries will be sporadic, but injuries are likely, which could mean an occasional start.

Drafted by Dallas in the 4th Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
LB
6-2
248
2
22

After an 11-tackle, four-sack outburst against Pitt in the 2008 Brut Sun Bowl, Victor Butler ascended up draft boards and was ultimately a fourth round pick by the Cowboys in 2009. As a rookie, Butler played in all 16 games, primarily on special teams, but was used in a situational role on defense and received one start last season. He finished the year with 17 tackles and three sacks. With a strong showing this preseason, Butler will compete for more playing time in 2010 and could be a tremendous pass rushing threat on third down.

Drafted by Dallas in the 4th Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
FS
6-1
190
R
22

Even though Cowboys fans may not know much about this small school prospect other than that his name is difficult to pronounce - don't worry, I will break it down for you, “uh-KWAZ-ee oh-WOO-soo AHN-sah" - all you need to know is that he was born to play on Sunday. In Ghana, where Owusu-Ansah is from, Akwasi means Sunday. And soon enough, fans in Dallas will become very familiar with the former IUP star, who can lineup at cornerback, safety and even impact a game as a return specialist.

Drafted by Dallas in the 4th Round (2010).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
K
6-2
228
2
23

Known for the 25 reps he completed on the bench press at the 2009 Scouting Combine, David Buehler served as the Cowboys kickoff specialist during his rookie season. Buehler completed his first year in the NFL leading the league and setting a Cowboys franchise record with 29 touchbacks. He has a strong leg, but accuracy has been an issue for him in the past. Buehler is the front runner to be the Cowboys place kicker this year, after the team decided not to tender Shaun Suisham.

Drafted by Dallas in the 5th Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
CB
5-10
192
3
23

Orlando Scandrick could be ranked higher on this list, as he's been nothing short of solid in his first two years in the NFL. He's only 23 years old and continues to improve his game. He's been a durable defender that hasn't missed a game and has been a valuable commodity on defense, who has started six games in his career. Scandrick is likely to be the Cowboys nickel corner this season.

Drafted by Dallas in the 5th Round (2008).


For more on the Cowboys, check out Ranch Report.


A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: csteuber@scout.com. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.



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