Dallas Cowboys: Defensive UDFAs who could crack the roster

Luther Kirk #34 from Illinois State (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Luther Kirk #34 from Illinois State (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Which of the Dallas Cowboys’ UDFAs have a chance of cracking the final roster?

The Dallas Cowboys have a rich history of finding undrafted rookie free agents (UDFAs) that play so well it makes other NFL teams regret passing on them. Some of those names include current Cowboys like starting right tackle La’el Collins and tight end Blake Jarwin.

Out of the Cowboys’ newest UDFA rookie class, which ones have the best chance of making the team’s final roster as well as an impact in the regular season. Here are our two best guesses for the defensive side of the ball …

Ron’Dell Carter, DE – James Madison

It’s no secret that the Cowboys are in need of a pass rusher following the loss of the team’s 2019 sack leader, Robert Quinn, to free agency this offseason. And while there are plenty of candidates to fill that role including Aldon Smith, rookie Bradlee Anae, and potentially Randy Gregory, there are also major questions surrounding each one.

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Defensive end Ron’Dell Carter appears to have been the Cowboys most coveted undrafted free agent target this offseason as the team reportedly signed the Dukes star defender to a massive $145K in guarantees. That’s more than a drafted seventh-rounder receives. Carter racked up 12 sacks in 16 games for James Madison in 2019 and has a shot at earning a rotational role in Dallas this year.

Can this UDFA earn a spot at a real position of need for the Dallas Cowboys?

Luther Kirk, S – Illinois State

The Cowboys did little to address their issues at safety this offseason. While the team lost veteran starter Jeff Heath to free agency, they signed former first-rounder Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as a potential replacement. That gives Illinois State’s Luther Kirk, who was the only listed safety in the entire rookie class for Dallas, an advantage.

The Cowboys’ depth chart currently only includes Xavier Woods, Clinton-Dix, Darius Thompson, and Donovan Wilson at the position, giving Kirk, the defensive MVP of the East-West Shrine Bowl, a realistic shot to crack the roster.

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Luther Kirk recorded two tackles and an interception during the Shrine game earlier this year. He also had another pick called back due to a penalty. Kirk recorded 89 total tackles, 3.0 sacks, and six pass defends in 15 games for the Redbirds last season. He posted five interceptions the year before.