5 Dallas Cowboys Dark Horse Players Who Will Make the 53-Man Roster
5 Dark Horse Players Who Will Make the Dallas Cowboys' 53-Man Roster
The Dallas Cowboys have proved to be pretty darn good at finding NFL ready talent late in the Draft and through free agency; Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Jay Ratliff, Sean Lissemore and Dan Bailey are just a few examples.
As with every NFL team, the Cowboys are using training camp as an opportunity to study and evaluate each player’s strengths and shortcomings. The Cowboys are undoubtedly hoping that these players separate themselves from the competition, and prove that they are worthy of a roster spot.
Luckily for some of those players, the Cowboys lack depth at certain positions, which allows said players to showcase their skills. This bodes well for the Cowboys because it gives them more of a chance at getting their evaluation of talent right.
Take for example, linebacker Adrian Hamilton, who after posting 20.5 sacks his senior year at Prairie View A&M; Hamilton went undrafted and signed with the Cowboys. Hamilton was one of my “dark-horse” selections to make the team in 2012, however, the Cowboys ended up cutting him.
Fast-forward to 2013: Hamilton is now a Super Bowl champion linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, has an endorsement deal with Under Armour and is a true feel-good story for any and all small school prospects. Clearly, Hamilton is one that the Cowboys would love to have back, but it is what it is.
I have compiled a list of five players who were long shots to make the team, but that have a legitimate chance at making the team. So without further ado, these are my five choices for “dark-horse” players who will make the Cowboys’ 53-man roster.
The Cowboys have an obvious need for depth along the defensive line and Hayden has been a nice find. He has been stout against the run and has provided the team with some pass rush from the interior of the defensive line racking up four quarterback hurries.
Selvie was brought in to help fill the void left by Tyrone Crawford’s season-ending Achilles tear, and so far he’s been pretty good. Through three preseason games, he’s already matched his career number of sacks with three. He also has four quarterback hurries and one quarterback hit. I think it’s safe to say that he fits this system, which is predicated on getting to the quarterback.
McSurdy, a seventh-round pick in 2012, saw his rookie season end before it began due to a torn Achilles tendon. In 2013, however, McSurdy has shown the Cowboys that he is ready to go as Sean Lee’s primary backup.
MaGee, an undrafted free agent, was a highly sought after player by the Cowboys. So much so that the Cowboys guaranteed $70,000 of his rookie deal. So far they have been rewarded for their investment. MaGee has been solid during his first three preseason games playing 102 snaps, racking up 15 tackles and 5 assists; seven of those 15 are solo tackles.
Holloman, a sixth-round pick in 2013, has been a very good find for Jason Garrett and company. To begin the preseason, Holloman was firmly behind veteran linebackers Ernie Sims and Justin Durant, but has closed the gap with his performance. Through three preseason games, Holloman has shown better than expected awareness in pass coverage, which has resulted in two interceptions for the rookie.