I love alternate history almost as much as I love real history. Anyway, I did a "what if" scenario where we were awarded our franchise in September of 1959 instead of January of 1960 and were able to participate in the NFL draft with the first pick in each round (like EVERY other expansion team!) as well as the "expansion draft". We were also able to sign FAs before the AFL got a hold of them.
Here is the team we "could have had":
QB: Jack Kemp, Don Meredith
HB: Abner Haynes, Paul Lowe, L.G. Dupre
FB: Dave Smith, Wray Carlton (Don Perkins on IR)
WR: Bill Groman, Art Powell, Charlie Hennigan, Gail Cogdill
TE: Lionel Taylor, Jim Doran, Frank Clarke
C: Jim Otto
OG: Mike Connelly, Grady Alderman, Jim Boeke
OT: Al Jamison, Ron Mix, Ernie Wright, Bob Fry
K/P RET: Willie Wood (also played S)
K: Gene Mingo
P: Dave Sherer
CB: Bobby Boyd, Don Bishop, Gino Cappelletti (also K & WR)
S: Goose Gonsoulin, Bobby Franklin, Larry Wilson
MLB: Archie Matsos, Sherrill Hedrick, Jerry Tubbs
OLB: Maxie Baughan, Larry Grantham, Tom Addison, (Chuck Howley IR)
DE: Nate Borden, John Gonzaga, Tom Day
DT: Roger Brown, Bud McFaddin, Jim Hunt
That's 43 players plus 2 on IR. 4 of those players are in the HoF. There's no guarantee we could have signed all of those players as some opted for the AFL instead (HoFer Ron Mix for instance didn't want to leave SoCal) and turned down playing for the defending Champions, the Colts to play for the then Los Angeles Chargers. Still, maybe Dallas wouldn't have been so bad for him.
I think we could have won at least 5 games with that team, possibly as many as 7 (in a 12-game season that's not bad). We also would not have had to trade away our valuable picks in future years and could have built our team a lot quicker and been a contender in a couple of years.
Jack Kemp was a FA and wouldn't have cost us anything to sign. We traded away our 1st round pick in 1961 for Eddie LeBaron. I loved him as a player but he wasn't worth that pick and Kemp was at least as good as Eddie. We had to trade our 1st in 1962 to move back into the 1st round in 1961 and take Bob Lilly as our first ever draft pick.
We also could have simply drafted Meredith & Perkins instead of trading future picks for their rights.
Ah what might have been!
Captain Nathan Brittles: "Only the man who commands can be blamed. It rests on me... mission failure!"
"Jerry Jones is a billionaire fan who bought his own team for the express purpose of buying his way into the game. He wants to hang out with the players, stand in front of the cameras, be the face of the team (yech), make personnel moves as if this were a video game, and more than anything else, be seen as the guy who made it all happen."