Dallas Cowboys: Destroying the physical limitations myth

Jan 3, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) catches a touchdown pass in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) catches a touchdown pass in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys should not allow the myth of physical limitations to dissuade them from getting a special player.

The off-season is an exciting time of the year thanks to the magical word of – potential. Teams are getting potentially better or worse as they gain and lose free agent players. The off-season still isn’t perfect!

For example, few articles ago I discussed the myth of seeking “value” in the draft by trading down. This time I would like to discuss another silly phrase used during the NFL combine and draft discussions – Physical Limitations.

This article could be viewed as a celebration of those that weren’t supposed to make it. Everyone that was told they were too slow or too short and still managed to prove everyone wrong.

This applies to life, as well as other professional sports – but football is absolutely ridiculous. So this article is a giant tree throwing shade to all “the experts” that were wrong about people based on perceived physical limitations.

In the world of mixed martial arts, there’s former lightweight champion Nick Newell. Newell has more than 300 victories from high school and college wrestling and retired with a 13 – 1 record in professional mixed martial arts. Newell’s left arm ends just below his elbow.

In the National Basketball Association (NBA), there’s the rare seven foot Dirk Nowitzki with the deft shooting touch and 6′ 9” Kevin Durant and 6′ 8” Lebron James that do everything on the basketball court. There’s the rare guys that get a chance to play amongst the giants: 5′ 3” Muggsy Bogues, 5′ 5” Earl Boykins, 5′ 7” Spud Webb and 5′ 9” Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas. The world is filled with people turning supposed weaknesses into strength.

The NFL takes it to a different level with the combine. Players with productive college careers get told that they won’t make it in the NFL due to physical limitations. Cowboys guard Zack Martin was a left tackle at Notre Dame but was moved inside the offensive line because “he has short arms”.

In 2015, draft prospect quarterback Jared Goff, 6′ 4”, 215 pounds threw for 12,195 yards in 37 games. At the combine, it was discovered his hands are “too small” to be an NFL quarterback. Apparently, 9 inch hands are bad. But 9 1/8th to 9 ¼ inches would’ve been perfect – right? (Tony Romo’s hand size: 8.86 inches)

Actually, that would be wrong since former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, 6′ 6” and 260 pounds would finish his NFL career with a 7 – 18 win / loss record after going 21 – 4 at Louisiana State (LSU).

After all, Russell’s hand size was 9 ½ inches. Another Russell, Russell Wilson measured 5′ 10 5/8th inches at the combine in 2012. He landed with the Seattle Seahawks, a team with both a strong defense and running game.

Anybody want a draft do-over – Jacksonville Jaguars selected punter Bryan Anger (70th overall) in the third round instead of Wilson (75th overall).

I’ll be more than satisfied with a Michael Irvin or Dez Bryant at wide receiver. For years, the player voted to be the ideal prototype receiver is retired Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson at 6′ 5”, 237 pounds. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room in the NFL for undrafted 5′ 8”, 180 pound receivers like Cole Beasley. I wonder what Beasley’s hand size is? If there’s an ideal hand size for throwing the football, there must be an ideal size for catching it.

I want to mention the “little guys” that have had success at running back. NFL.com posted a picture asking – Who’s the greatest running back of all time? The photo can be found on my Facebook page. The choices were: Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Eric Dickerson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marshall Faulk, Gale Sayers, Tony Dorsett and Earl Campbell. Anyone surprised how many of them aren’t 6′ tall or over?

Who’s the Greatest Running Back of All Time?

Eric Dickerson (6′ 3”, 220#)

LaDainian Tomlinson (5′ 10”, 215#)

Jim Brown (6′ 2”, 232#)

Marshall Faulk (5′ 10”, 211#)

Gale Sayers (6′, 198#)

Walter Payton (5′ 10”, 200#)

Earl Campbell (5′ 11”, 245#)

Emmitt Smith (5′ 9”, 210#)

Tony Dorsett (5′ 11”, 192#)

Barry Sanders (5′ 8”, 200#)

Is there an ideal height / weight for a running back? Based on this list, a running back needs to stand somewhere between 5′ 8” and 6′ 3”. Tampa Bay legend Warrick Dunn played at 5′ 9”, 187 pounds and Dallas’ Lance Dunbar is 5′ 8”, 195 pounds. Dunn, Sanders and Smith were every down backs but it’s unlikely that Dunbar will ever get that chance with the Cowboys.

There you have it – my article dedicated to athletes that proved their naysayers wrong. Just like our undrafted superstar quarterback Tony Romo who has gone on to throw for 34,154 yards and counting despite his limitations. When I mention that our undrafted backup quarterback, Kellen Moore, threw for 14,667 yards and 143 touchdowns in college and could develop into someone special. Please don’t build your debate around his “physical limitations”.



Find me at Facebook.com/CowboysRob

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