Every year following the NFL draft, teams are looking for undrafted rookie free agents (The Guys No One Is Talking About”) to bring in to camp in hopes of finding that “Diamond In The Rough”. The Cowboys have been pretty successful over the years and even managed to add a few Hall Of Fame players in this manner.
In recent years teams like the New England Patriots have been pretty successful doing this. In fact, they have 18 former undrafted rookies on their roster, to include last years interception leader Arrington. He led the league with 7. The Cowboys brought in Phillip Tanner last year to add depth at the RB position. What they got was a guy that showed enough potential to earn a spot on the Cowboys depth chart. Looking at Tanner, I see a guy who could prove to be quite an asset as a change of pace and or short yardage back. In fact, he may have enough potential to push the injury prone Felix Jones in camp.
The last time the Cowboys struck gold with undrafted players was during Bill Parcells tenure when they added Tony Romo and Miles Austin. I knew they hit gold when they brought in Andrew Sendejo last year, unfortunately Jerry Jones let him go before he even had a chance to make an impact. In my ongoing series of “The Guys No One Is Talking About” I am going to address a few players who I believe could make an impact in Dallas. Every year the number of former undrafted players appearing in the Pro Bowl is increasing. There is a lot of talent hiding out there.
I saw some mocks that had the Cowboys taking a running back as early as the 3rd round. I am here to tell you that there are a ton of hidden gems out there at the position. I remember when I was talking about Arian Foster People thought I was crazy. Things that make you go, hmmmm.
Foswhitt Whittaker, RB University of Texas.
5-9 193 4.40 40
Whittaker had a very lucrative career in front of him until he suffered a knee injury his senior year. At that point he fell off of many radars, but he has remained on mine. I am always looking for those value guys. In spite of his season ending injury he still received an invite to the combine where he could only compete in the bench press event putting up 20 reps. Which isn’t bad at all considering that’s 32 lbs more than his body weight. You always need impact special teams players, especially when it comes to kick returners. I believe Whittaker could make an immediate impact on special teams and maybe even earn a spot in the rotation at RB.
Whittaker was a 2011 first-team All-Big 12 selection (Coaches), second team (Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and honorable mention (AP) as a kick returner and was honorable mention for Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year (Coaches). Whittaker carried the ball 263 times for 1,233 yards (4.7 ypc) and 12 TDs. He also amassed 73 receptions for 464 yards and was 2-for-2 passing for 40 yards for his career. Whittaker also obtained several school records for kickoff returns including tied for the most career touchdowns (2), the longest kickoff return (100 yards, twice), most yards in a single game (252 vs. Oklahoma State in 2011) and highest average per return in a single game (42.0 vs. Oklahoma State in 2011). Whittaker had 386 rushing yards and a team-high six touchdowns on 66 carries and he caught 16 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown. He also returned 10 kickoffs for 424 yards (42.4 yd avg per return) and two touchdowns in 2011.
My story is continued on the next page…..