5 2nd-Year Dallas Cowboys Who Must Step Up

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5 2nd-Year Dallas Cowboys Who Must Step Up
USA TODAY Sports

One of the keys to sustaining a winning football franchise is the ability to build a team through the draft. This is actually true in all sports, but in today's NFL, being able to draft well, develop those players and retain their services is the difference between the elite franchises and the average ones.

The Dallas Cowboys usually make for quality media fodder and good theatre, but when it comes to the draft, the level of discussion usually hits epic levels. Everything from Jerry Jones' abilities, his decision-making and his desire to prove he knows more than everybody else seem to be the butt of every joke.

But in recent years, the Cowboys have started to reverse their well-documented draft trends with the selections of Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Tyron Smith and DeMarco Murray. Add Dwayne Harris to the mix and now we have the formation of a young nucleus.

Fresh off the 2013 draft, the Cowboys will once again be looking for long-term building blocks with such players as Travis Frederick, Gavin Escobar and Terrance Williams.

The Cowboys will also be looking for immediate contributions and the expectations will be nothing short of that. But what about the 2012 draft and the impact those players have had on this team?

It's too early in the process to label this draft class, but it's never too early to assess the results.

Let's start by figuring out who needs to step things up in 2013.

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