We all know there are only 7 official rounds to the NFL draft, but this “8th round” is a round in which the Cowboys have excelled in previous years. Every single draft eligible player that wasn’t drafted is now an Undrafted Free Agent (UDFA). In the past, the Cowboys have picked up Tony Romo, Miles Austin, and formerly Stephen Bowen as UDFA’s. Here are some possible fits for the Cowboys amongst all of the UDFA’s. Here are a few UDFA’s that will be well sought after.
Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona St. University: A perfect athlete. Has all the physical tools, and production to match. Only one problem; his short temper. Burfict would let his emotions get the best of him and he was benched several times for personal foul penalties due to ‘after the whistle’ extras. His athletic ability would be cherished with the Cowboys. His demeanor and temper can be coached and controlled. He would fit in perfectly in my opinion as a special teams player, riding the bench while he matures, and a talented backup in case Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, or Dan Conner go down.
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise St: This kid is a winner. He passed up Colt McCoy last year for the all time NCAA wins leader with 50 in his college career. He is touted as having an extremely high football IQ, and his 142-28 career TD-INT ration proves it. His only downside is his height. He measure in at 6′ nothing”. There is a pretty damn good QB in New Orleans right now that has the same height. Kellen Moore fits in at Dallas as someone who can push the scout team for 2-3 years. Kyle Orton is set as the backup, but Moore can and will progress and eventually be a quality backup, if not a tradeable asset. Romo has about 4-5 good years left in him, so seeing Kellen Moore as the future of the Cowboys franchise is not entirely out of the question.
Chris Polk, RB, Washington St.: Polk can ball. His production is amazing out of Washington St. What turned most teams away would be his issue of durability. He has had several issues with both of his shoulders, and has had a knee scope. Polk, however, is a dependable running back. Out of almost 900 carries in college, Polk has only fumbled 5 times. He is also extremely effective receiving out of the backfield. In his time at Washington St., Polk caught roughly 80 catches for almost 700 yards. He would be a good fit with the Cowboys, and would push for time even with Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner. Since he is an UDFA, questions about his durability don’t necessarily matter because the price tag is relatively cheap, and he can get some good time in with strength and condition coach (and six-time Superbowl champion) Mike Woicek.
Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia: This kid has average measurables combine-wise, but his production caught my eye. Jerry Jones discussed in a press conference after the 1st round of the 2012 NFL draft that they are trying to make even the defense “Romo-Friendly”. This justified them trading up to grab Claiborne, because of his ball handling skills and ability to turn the ball over. Minnifield fits this mold exactly. He had 13 career interceptions, and with some coaching and a little bit of Mike Woicek love, he’ll be a quality 4th or 5th CB. As Bob Barker would say, “The Price is Right”.
As with many UDFA’s, hardly any project to be a starter relatively soon. They are considered camp bodies or projects that can turn out to be something great with a little bit of coaching in the right direction. If Dallas hits on 1 every year or two, then the team has gotten that much better. Our Cowboys found UDFA gold in Romo, Austin, and Stephen Bowen. And it seems that possibly Raymond Radaway can be considered in that conversation (hard to imagine where he would be prior to that horrible knee injury that would make Willis McGahee squirm). Look to see one of these wearing the star, selling jerseys, and kickin’ it in Hawaii.