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Cowboys need draft class to remain healthy

4/29/2013

IRVING, Texas -- Over the last few years, the Cowboys have had draft picks who weren't ready to start practicing come rookie minicamp.

Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Matt Johnson and Morris Claiborne were just some of the players whose careers were delayed by either post-college surgeries or an early injury in camp.

This class doesn't appear to have those issues, other than running back Joseph Randle, who has a thumb injury. But he will wear a brace and participate in the rookie minicamp in two weeks.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said that Randle most likely won't catch any passes but should be fine for training camp.

The Cowboys can't afford to deal with any more injured draft picks. It's one thing to get hurt once you start working for the Cowboys, but it's another having to deal with an injury before turning pro.

The Cowboys front office talked a lot over the weekend about how the seven draft picks could become starters at some point. The pressure on center Travis Frederick is great because of the Cowboys' decision to trade down in the draft and and acquire an extra third-rounder rather than a second-round pick.

The rest of the 2013 class can morph into a starting role in the future, but there's no pressure to do so now. However, becoming major contributors in 2013 is important to the success of the Cowboys.

In order to do that, this class has to remain healthy.