When David Porter, a former Texas Christian University wide receiver, worked out for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and was subsequently signed, it wasn’t exactly major news. He became the eleventh receiver on the active roster; he was considered a camp body and not given a second thought.
Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley aren’t going to be moved as the top receiving trio in this team. There weren’t another three receivers with more combined touchdowns in the league than them (28) and they ranked 14th in combined yards; not bad considering they had the leagues leading rusher in DeMarco Murray!
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While Devin Street is yet to really wow on the field, he’s regarded as one of the favorites among the coaching staff. But with Dwayne Harris departing for NFC East rivals New York Giants, that fifth wide receiver spot is there for the taking. Lucky Whitehead is currently considered to have the edge with his special teams ability, but nothing is confirmed yet. After all, Porter is on the team in place of George Farmer who had been guaranteed $55,000; that money wasn’t paid with the expectation he’d be cut so soon.
Over four years at TCU, Porter played in 47 games, had 74 receptions for 954 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He played on special teams throughout and in 2013 led the horned frogs in touchdowns and was 2nd in yards. One of his most memorable plays though was the toss he made to Trevor Boykin for a 55-yard touchdown pass in his final year!
The diminutive receiver had been signed by the Denver Broncos in May. He’d also attended the Miami Dolphins Rookie minicamp. Both the Broncos and Dolphins worked Porter into their special teams drills. But just a week after being waived by the Broncos, the head coach of the Cowboys Jason Garrett has been heralding his performance.
"“It was one of the great debuts I’ve ever seen in my life…He got here, worked out at 11:30, practiced at 3:45 and by 4:30 had scored three touchdowns in practice”"
When players sign for a team, they often claim to be lifelong fans. But for Porter this was true; a local from DeSoto and a boyhood Dallas fan this really is a dream come true.
"“My dad is a diehard Cowboys fan. Every Sunday we’d go over to my uncle’s house and the whole family is there and we’d watch the Cowboys game”"
And at 22 he confessed that the current #88 Dez Bryant is his idol;
"“I watched him in college and when I was in high school, so I was like ‘I want to look like him when I get to college’”"
Porter though doesn’t seem fazed by the fact he’s now going to be training and playing alongside his heroes.
"“I have to take a lot more extra time getting in that playbook, because I’m behind – I’m way behind. I have a lot to catch up…hopefully I can get it quick.”"
With injuries limiting the participation of Dez and Cole Beasley there’s going to be a chance for Porter to continue to impress. With the second of four preseason games this coming weekend the Cowboys could opt to take a look at him on special teams and compare his impact to that of Lucky Whitehead.
"“When they get an opportunity the guy says that I have these aspirations, I have these dreams to do this. But he’s not really ready for that opportunity. David clearly was.” – Jason Garrett on David Porter"
Porter clearly has the attitude that is desired from the coaching staff, which can only stand him in good stead going forth. But he mustn’t rest on his laurels. So many times in recent memory it’s been a case of next man up for the Boys. Can Porter be the next to make the cut?