The Dallas Cowboys kick off the NFL season Wednesday night against the New York Giants, and it appears as though they'll need the assistance of at least a few rookies. However, for the other first-year players, the start of the new season tells a much different story.
When the Cowboys concluded their draft back in April, the hype and excitement clearly centered around Morris Claiborne and understandably so. After watching his secondary get torched, abused and used as human hurdles, Jerry Jones aggressively moved up the draft board to select Claiborne to pair with Brandon Carr. For the cornerback position, it was mission accomplished.
But the Cowboys, like other teams, had many other needs to fill and not enough picks, but such is life. So like other teams, the Cowboys stuck to their board and selected players they thought could help them in both the long and short term.
Although it usually takes more than a few seasons to determine the success of a draft class, it's never too early to start analyzing it.
Here's a look at the 2012 Cowboys' draft class at the conclusion of the preseason.