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.
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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.