The Cowboys’ draft may have been disappointing, but no team in the NFL has picked up the scraps better. Their undrafted free agents, in fact, could fill a wing of the Ring of Honor by themselves. And certainly play an important role on the success of the 2016 team.
Last year after the draft the Cowboys quietly signed a couple players who paid regular-season dividends: La’el Collins and Lucky Whitehead. And in the past they’ve nabbed quality producers despite passing them over in the draft: Bill Bates. Miles Austin. Jeff Heath. Barry Church. Ron Leary. Tyler Clutts. Lance Dunbar.
How important is post-draft talent acquisition? The Cowboys’ top two quarterbacks (Tony Romo, Kellen Moore) and perhaps their best player (Dan Bailey) were not drafted.
So maybe this year’s crop led by Akron defensive tackle Rodney Coe and Jacksonville State receiver Andy Jones will produce a starter or two.
But chances are they won’t crack into this impressive list of the Cowboys’ best all-time undrafted free agents:
5. Nate Newton – From Florida A&M to three-time Super Bowl winner as member of dominant ‘90s’ OL.
4. Cornell Green – Drafted by the NBA, he turned into one of the Cowboys’ best-ever CBs/kick-returners.
3. Cliff Harris – Ouachita Baptist’s best NFLer is in Ring of Honor with six Pro Bowls.
2. Drew Pearson – Converted college quarterback became best clutch receiver in team history.
1. Tony Romo – Afterthought quarterback from Eastern Illinois holds most franchise passing records.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.