Dallas Cowboys sign former baseball player Codey McElroy

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have signed a former professional baseball player, Codey McElroy, as a tight end who spent last offseason with the Rams.

The Dallas Cowboys took a flier with their final selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, using a six round pick (217th overall) to draft Baylor basketball star Rico Gathers as a tight end. That’s despite the fact Gathers hadn’t played organized football since middle school.

Four years later and it appears that Gathers might be on his way out of Dallas as he’s failed to develop into anything more than a fringe player. But the Cowboys are clearly not done trying to find a hidden gem at tight end from another sport.

On Monday, Dallas Morning News reporter Jon Machota tweeted that the Cowboys have signed former Atlanta Braves baseball prospect Codey McElroy to a reserved/futures contract as a tight end. Like Gathers, McElroy didn’t play football in high school.

Instead, the 6-foot-6, 255-pound McElroy played baseball, first at Eastern Oklahoma State, then spending a year at the University of Texas before transferring to Cameron University.

McElroy was drafted in the 19th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves as a shortstop/outfielder (scouting video). But according to USA Today (Rams Wire), in 45 games of Single-A ball in the minor leagues, Codey had a batting average of .184, with 12 RBI and two homers.

After retiring from baseball, McElroy walked on to the Oklahoma State basketball team. But he barely played and in five games he never registered a single point. After a brief stint as a baseball coach, McElroy played tight end at Southeastern Oklahoma, a Division II school. He’d record 14 receptions for 173 yards and five touchdowns for the Savage Storm in 2017.

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McElroy would sign as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Rams last year. He posted two catches for eight yards in four preseason games before being released. Now with the Cowboys, McElroy is a long shot to make the active roster in 2019. But he could be stashed on the practice squad as Dallas might attempt to develop the raw tight end like did with Rico Gathers.