As of Saturday night, the Dallas Cowboys have cut down to the league-mandated 53-man roster, and as it stands, only one undrafted rookie made the team; safety Jeff Heath.
I truly expected linebacker Brandon MaGee to be the only undrafted player to make the team; however, he wasn’t very impressive through the first three preseason games, and missed the final two preseason games due to a concussion, ultimately leading to his release. If MaGee clears waivers, I fully expect the Cowboys to place him on the practice squad.
The Cowboys had to do their homework to find Heath, who earned All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. During his final year in college, Heath recorded 77 tackles, five interceptions, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
In the spring, Heath impressed the Cowboys’ talent evaluators with his work ethic and style of play. He started out slow, but steadily progressed as the preseason went on. I must admit that I didn’t think that Heath would make the team at first, but his games against the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, helped change my mind.
Heath had a good game against the Cardinals, but it was against the Bengals that he came up and blasted wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, who had taken a handoff on an end-around, forcing him to cough the ball up, that put Heath on the map. The fumble was one of the Cowboys’ four takeaways that night.
“They’ve been harping on creating turnovers,” Heath said. “As a rookie, especially an undrafted rookie, you have to make your presence felt. The way to do that is take the ball away.”
Heath said that he signed with the Cowboys because they were the first team to call him following the 2013 Draft.