As a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, it’s been a few years since I have felt this disinterested in the NFL Draft. So when should our excitement really begin?
I had a crazy feeling that I missed the Dallas Cowboys‘ selection in the 2017 NFL Draft! The first round of the draft is scheduled for April 27th at 8 pm EST. That’s about two weeks away, yet my inbox is still empty. Usually, it’s flooded with invitations to draft parties where we scrutinize selections and discuss the impact on our fantasy teams.
It’s been a few years since I have felt this disinterested in the NFL Draft. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m not alone – or to paraphrase Drake – maybe my circle of friends is getting so small that it’s a period. For members of Cowboy Nation, like myself, the fun tends to start after the draft.
With 32 NFL teams, it’s generally accepted that the top half of the first round contains the best future talent or players that are “NFL ready”. With the Cowboys selecting in the 28th spot this year, there will be more emphasis on – “Who’s available?” – when we make our pick.
Unless the Cowboys general mismanager and owner Jerry Jones decides to shock the world with a trade that ruins the future of our franchise, the draft should come and go like a refreshing summer rain. At least, Jones hasn’t managed to select a punter in the 3rd round like the Jacksonville Jaguars did in 2012. Until then, I will give Jones and his draft day team a little credit. With the exception of 2015, we’ve done well with late round draft picks.
In 2010, wide receiver Dez Bryant was selected with the 24th overall pick, but he had “character issues”. In 2013, we selected center Travis Frederick who has become an invaluable asset. Someone remind me, was 2012 the year that every third snap would travel 30 yards over quarterback Tony Romo‘s head, forcing him to make a miraculous play like the one in this video from 2007?
Speaking of Romo, (surprise!) that’s the reason the fun for Cowboy Nation starts after the draft. Every year, we sign about 25 undrafted players to our training camp roster. Well, maybe not that many but it’s close. Look at last year’s list with receivers Andy Jones, Ed Eagan and Chris Brown. Players on an undrafted free agent (UDFA) list often become contributors and starters for the Cowboys.
The list of former and current undrafted players for the Cowboys: wide receiver Cole Beasley, Lucky Whitehead and Miles Austin; safeties Barry Church and Jeff Heath; linemen Ronald Leary and yes, La’el Collins counts; running back Lance Dunbar; kicker Dan Bailey and quarterbacks Kellen Moore and oh yeah, the guy that threw for 34,183 passing yards, 248 touchdowns, 25 fourth quarter comebacks and 30 game winning drives – Mr. Antonio Ramiro Romo.
With the exception of the most accurate kicker in NFL history (Bailey), I can only wonder. Why weren’t these guys good enough to be sixth or seventh round draft picks? What happened to the “flyers” that we selected instead? Will any of the UDFA’s have a career like Romo, Moore, Dustin Vaughan or Jameill Showers? Who knows! That’s why – when the Cowboys have a late round pick, my fun starts after the draft.