Don't Laugh: Sometimes Nobodies at Rookie Minicamp Turn Into Somebodies

Tony Romo. Drew Pearson. Bill Bates. Miles Austin.

Who needs a draft when you can simply sign free agents and turn them into productive – even legendary – players?

Where the Cowboys might have underwhelmed in past NFL Drafts, they’ve been one of the league’s best teams as far as finding cheap talent off the scrap heap and unknowns in the weeds of small schools. On the current roster for, example, players such as Ben Bass, Cole Beasley, Dan Bailey, Barry Church, Lance Dunbar, Ron Leary and Jeff Heath were all discovered and signed after the bright lights and media attention had disappeared from the draft.

So don’t discount the no-names at Valley Ranch this weekend when the Cowboys hold their rookie minicamp. You haven’t heard of Maurice Couch or Tyler Patmon or L’Damian Washington. But you might.

In addition to the nine draft picks, a list of the new faces that will be wearing Cowboys’ helmets beginning tomorrow:


Kolton Browning, Louisiana-Monroe
Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M

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Jyruss Edwards, Louisiana-Monroe
Josh Harris, Wake Forest
J.C. Copeland, LSU
Ben Malena, Texas A&M


Robert Armstong, Texas A&M
Lee Kurfis, Lehigh
L’Damian Washington, Missouri
Chris Boyd, Vanderbilt


Kaneakua Friel, BYU
Evan Wilson, Illinois
Jordan Najvar, Baylor


Darius Morris, Temple
Jarrod Pughsley, Akron
Josh Aladenoya, Illinois State
Andre Cureton, Cincinnati
Ronald Patrick, South Carolina
Brian Clarke, Bloomsburg
Gus Handler, Colorado


Casey Kreiter, Iowa


Dartwan Bush, Texas Tech
Maurice Couch, Tennessee
Chris Whaley, Texas
Joe Windsor, Northern Illinois
Davin Coleman, Arizona State


Eddie Lackey, Baylor
Caleb Lavey, Oklahoma State
Keith Smith, San Jose State
Dontavis Sapp, Tennessee


Aaron Foster, Bowling Green
Tyler Patmon, Oklahoma State
Dashaun Phillips, Tarleton State
Jocquel Skinner, Bethel


Marvin Robinson, Ferris State
Ryan Smith, Auburn
Brandon McCladdie, Citadel


Cody Mandell, Alabama

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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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