IRVING, Texas (AP) — There were no big-time players taken with high picks and no huge trades that made a big splash. It seemed like a pretty uneventful weekend for the Dallas Cowboys, who have a reputation for free-wheeling ways during the NFL draft.
Things were far from boring, however, after the Cowboys made an NFL-high 12 picks in the second day of the draft on Sunday.
"This is as excited as we've ever been about the draft with the numbers and opportunities that we have," Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said. "It's as exciting as if we had two Number Ones and two Number Twos. To me, this is a lot more interesting process."
For the first time since Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989, the Cowboys did not have a pick in the first two rounds.
That meant Dallas did not make a selection Saturday and had to wait until Sunday before taking Western Illinois linebacker Jason Williams and Ball State offensive tackle Robert Brewster in the third round.
Dallas drafted Texas A&M's Stephen McGee in the fourth round, the first quarterback the team has drafted since taking Quincy Carter in 2001.
The Cowboys also nabbed a pair of defensive ends in the fourth, Oregon State's Victor Butler and Texas Tech's Brandon Williams.
"I think the acquisition of this talent complements what we already have on this team," Jones said.
This is the first time Dallas has gone without a pick in the first two rounds since 1980, when its first pick was in the third round and 78th overall.
The Cowboys' longest wait in Jones' tenure before Saturday was 2001, when they drafted Carter at No. 53.
McGee threw for 4,889 yards and rushed for 1,800 more in his first three seasons with the Aggies but made only three starts in 2008 after suffering a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.
"I really expected to go in the third round," said McGee, who was taken with the first pick of the fourth round. "I had a lot of things happen in my career that I couldn't control. Despite all that, I'm thrilled to go to the Cowboys."
The 6-foot-1, 241-pound Jason Williams was the 69th overall selection. He made 17 tackles for losses and forced six fumbles as a senior at the FCS school.
Williams was not invited to the scouting combine in February.
"It probably had something to with being an FCS player," Williams said. "I got overlooked in the process."
The Cowboys took Brewster with the 75th pick. He was a four-year starter at Ball State and helped the Cardinals go 12-2 in 2008.
"It is a new chapter, the next step in life," Brewster said. "I'm ready to go to work and do the same things I did at Ball State."
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said Butler and Williams will both be converted to outside linebacker.
Brandon Williams, a native of Fort Worth, left school after his junior season. He led the Big 12 with 13 sacks in 2008 and finished his career with 22.5, the fourth most in Texas Tech history.
Butler started just one season in college, but he piled up 22.5 sacks the past two years.
"To make the move, you have to be able to rush the passer," Phillips said. "You have to see enough of them to know if they can make the change at the next level."
The Cowboys added to their secondary depth in the later rounds.
Dallas took Cincinnati defensive back DeAngelo Smith and Clemson safety Michael Hamlin in the fifth; and the Cowboys added TCU safety Stephen Hodge in the sixth and Cincinnati cornerback Mike Mickens in the seventh.
The Cowboys selected USC kicker David Buehler, who said he expects to kick off and play on other return teams, in the fifth round and Virginia tight end John Phillips in the sixth.
With their final pick of the seventh round, Dallas took Oklahoma wide receiver Manuel Johnson.
"We had a plan and stuck to that plan," Wade Phillips said. "We feel we can get a lot of production from this group of players even if they weren't picked in the first or second round."
The Cowboys did not have a first-round pick, having dealt that with third- and sixth-rounders to Detroit last season for receiver Roy Williams.
Dallas traded the 51st pick Saturday to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for third- and fourth-round picks — the 75th and 110th selections.
With two more moves Sunday, the Cowboys have made 55 draft-day trades since 1989.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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