Cowboys Draft Marcus Spears in 1st Round

The Dallas Cowboys used their second pick in the 1st round, #20 overall, to select LSU defensive end Marcus Spears. This pick, combined with their selection of Demarcus Ware in the 11th spot and the signing of Jets free agent defensive tackle Jason Ferguson last month should solidify the Cowboys’ switch to the 3-4 defense.

Spears was ranked 15th overall on Rick Gooselin’s board, so a good value for the spot.

If the Cowboys can grab a dominating safety in the 2nd round, Mickey Spagnola will be very, very happy.

Cowboys Draft Another DE, Picking LSU’s Marcus Spears (Nick Eatman,

The Cowboys knew they needed to upgrade their defensive end position and adding just one player might not be enough. So after drafting Demarcus Ware with the No. 11 pick, the Cowboys took yet another end, adding LSU’s Marcus Spears with the 20th overall pick in the first round.

The additions of these two players certainly would suggest the Cowboys are leaning towards switching to a 3-4 defense, with Ware having the ability to play an outside linebacker off the rush end, with the 305-pound Spears playing the bigger defensive end position. Spears, who also has the versatility to move inside and play defensive tackle, finished the 2004 season with 49 tackles, nine sacks and 21 quarterback hurries, though he is better known for his technique and strength along the defensive front than he is for his pure pass-rushing skills.


Ware and Spears are now the latest attempts the Cowboys have made to find a pure pass rusher since they lost Charles Haley back in 1996. Since 1994, the Cowboys have now picked a defensive end with their top pick in five different drafts, starting with Shante Carver, followed by Kavika Pittman, Greg Ellis, Ebenezer Ekuban and now Ware, to go along with Spears with the 20th overall pick.

Ellis has been quite solid but none of the rest proved worthy of a 1st rounder.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:

    If I’m not mistaken, they had the chance to pick that defensive end out of Texas whose name escapes me now but who turned out to be a high-quality DE (Tony something?) the same year they picked one of the other ones that didn’t pan out.

  2. Tony Brackens. Passing on him was a boneheaded move. They traded out of the 1st round that year–I forget who they got, but I do remember that he wasn’t any good.