Who? Lin-mania has taken over the nation and it is my belief that sitting on the Dallas Cowboys bench is someone just as hot, just as much of a story, and just as much of a sensation as the current Lin-phenom. In 2011, the Dallas Cowboys picked up Raymond Radway, a 6’3”, 193 pound, undrafted, free agent, rookie wide receiver out of Abilene Christian and who I believe is the next Jeremy Lin.
Radway surprised the entire Cowboy staff during the 2011 training camp. He’s been clocked at 4.32 seconds in the 40-yard dash, so he can run like the wind. He caught everything that was thrown his way, so he shifts like a slinky. He watched the starting receivers, Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, so he uses his noggin to learn from the best. Always studying, watching, listening to guarantee a spot on that roster.
During the preseason, Radway scored a touchdown and returned a couple of kickoffs for 62 yards in the Cowboys’ victory over the Denver Broncos. He was the target a couple of times for 11 yards in the San Diego Chargers loss. In the Minnesota Vikings win, he was targeted twice for 12 yards. He also had a couple of kick off returns he ran for an average of 18 yards. Then in the last preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, he was the #2 top receiver. Targeted 5 times, for 62 yards, with the best overall average at 20.7 yards per reception. His best production yet!
As quickly as he showed signs of being a top receiver, his rookie season and his leg shattered in the last three seconds of the Miami game. He was placed on injured reserve the whole of 2011. However, with a little credit to Jerry Jones, he personally told Raymond not to worry, as his spot was secure on the Cowboys roster. He may have missed his rookie year, but good things are in store for this young man.
Comparisons between Jeremy and Raymond:
1) Jeremy was born in August 23, 1988; Raymond was born in July 5, 1987
2) Neither Jeremy nor Raymond received college scholarships for their respective sports
3) Both men are 6’3” tall and weigh within 5 lbs of each other
4) Raymond recovered from his leg break during the 2011 season, Jeremy recovered from his knee injury during the NBA lockout
5) Raymond hardly played football prior to college, Jeremy wondered if he would play basketball after college
6) Both men have BIG valentines and will give it all for their fans, their coaches, and their families
Reasons why Raymond should remain a Cowboy:
1) His jersey number is 86 which is the year of my high school graduation and when you flip the numbers, it becomes 68, the year I was born = sentimental
2) He is a lifelong Dallas Cowboy fan = loyal
3) According to his Twitter, he just purchased a tiny little car that gets 48 mpg = practical
4) Jerry Jones, to a man, told him his roster spot was secure = promised
5) Despite his injury, Raymond continued to stay positive = optimistic
Raymond said recently,
“They feel like I can have a full recovery and I can come back stronger after the injury. I’m just glad they still have faith in me.”
According to Raymond’s bio on the official Dallas Cowboys website, he only played two years of college football, where in his final season, he started all 12 games. Go back to his high school days in McKinney and you learn he only played ONE game of football. Being on the track team, Raymond showed off his speediness by earning the All-American title, four times, in the 200 & 400 meters at Cloud County Junior College. Much like Forrest Gump, he can run.
When you look at his history, Radway doesn’t fit the typical prototype. He didn’t play football most of his life and he wasn’t picked up during the draft, but it’s players like Raymond Radway, and Jeremy Lin, who give it 1000% every time they are on the playing field. I would rather have a roster full of these guys, then a roster full of show boats, truth be told.