Hit and miss … draft picks, undrafted free agents, and practice squad

Here’s a quick quiz.

The Cowboys have selected 27 players in the last three drafts. How many of those players are on the active roster?

The same number as those who have been released.

There are 13 players from the last three drafts on the active roster as the team prepares to open the regular season against the New York Jets. Another 13 have been released and one, second round pick Bruce Carter, opens the season on the non-football injury list.

Now, how many of those picks will start on opening night? Two are certain _ receiver Dez Bryant and left guard Bill Nagy. Tyron Smith will start if he’s healthy and there’s a chance Sean Lee will start at inside linebacker to bring the total to four.

Still, that means that less than 15 percent have cracked the starting lineup.

The last three drafts have not yielded the numbers every team needs to remain successful. But those misses have been minimized somewhat by the Cowboys success when it comes to rookie free agents.

The tally: draft picks lead rookie free agents 13-11 over the last three seasons as far current roster spots. But the team has actually retained more undrafted rookies (10-9) over the past two seasons than draft picks.

One of those players, Phil Costa, will start at center Sunday night if he’s healthy. Rookie Dan Bailey will be the Cowboys field goal kicker.

The discrepancy even trickles down to the practice squad. Two players (Akwasi-Owusu-Ansah and Shaun Chapas) are draft picks while four others (Teddy Williams, Mario Butler, Orie Lemon and Isaiah Greenhouse) all went undrafted coming out of college.

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