British Invasion For The Dallas Cowboys

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Jul 31, 2014; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys helmet at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Although Durde’s spell with the Cowboys was brief, his input and opinion is clearly well respected. Last week saw Londoner Efe Obada sign for the Cowboys on a three year contract. Obada played briefly for Durde’s London Warrior’s team. With his signing announced on April 1st, many assumed it to be an April fools prank!

The chance of seeing Obada and Crawford line up together on game day is a way of yet, with Obada seen as a long term project. He projects as a defensive end/tight end, but to call him raw would be an understatement.

He’s only ever played five football games, all last year with the Warriors. It’s his impressive measurables that wow. The twenty-two year old stands at 6’6” and weight 255lbs. His wingspan is an incredible 83” and he can do a 112” broad jump. His 40 yard dash time was 4.71 seconds. The 1.53 second split would’ve placed him in the top ten of prospects at this years combine.

And according to NFL UK reporter Neil Reynolds, it’s not even his best time!

The NFL is full of players with incredible stories. Obada’s could go onto be one of the best. In 2002 he was trafficked to the UK from Holland. Along with his older sister he spent time living on the streets of London. They eventually ended up in the Social Services process, where life didn’t get any easier.

"“I didn’t really believe in myself and because I never had that family stability it led me to turn to friends in the area and that led me into gangs and running with the wrong people…I lost a lot of friends and I saw people coming and going and I decided that was not the life for me or my sister. ”"

His size and physique made Obada an ideal candidate for the London Warriors, and it was a friend who introduced him to the game which he was quite clearly a natural at.

"“When I went to the first practice, I was just trying to get my frustration out and release some energy. I was congratulated for hitting somebody and I liked it.”"

Obada lives in the same town as me. Stevenage is a very average English town just half an hour north of London. There’s really nothing spectacular here. F1 star Lewis Hamilton is from here- the excitement ends there! Obada worked a full time in a warehouse. For him to now have a legitimate chance to make an NFL roster is nothing short of extraordinary. Speaking to NFL UK last week it’s clear that Obada can’t quite believe what’s happening to him.

"“It’s amazing and life-changing. It’s a major turning point in my life and feels like a movie. This could be it – I can change my life. This is unreal – this doesn’t happen to people like me. I’ve never even been outside of London since I arrived in the UK.”"

The video below is of the British American Football Premiership Final from last season, with London Blitz (white uniform) taking on Obada’s (wearing number 10) London Warriors (black uniform).

Considering he’s only ever played five games his technique isn’t too shabby. He’s very quick off the snap and throughout the game he consistently put pressure on the quarterback. It’s going to be a long education with many refinements to be made but the tools are there in abundance.

Next: More To Come