While Dallas started the draft strong on Thursday, and followed that with a solid second leg, the Cowboys sandwiched a couple of roster fillers with two players that have plenty of “upside” (at least Akwasi Owusu-Ansah draws that comment from Dave Campo [Sean Lissemore is the final pick]). Those are not the final additions to the Cowboys roster, however, as a couple of free agents were signed by Dallas that have some significant upside.
Both could have some say in whether the Cowboys play in Arlington in February. More than likely, both will be involved in defending Dallas’ sixth Super Bowl title the following season.
Bryan McCann, the cornerback from SMU is about the same size as Scandrick, and can fly like Orlando (4.35 in the 40), but needs a lot of work. Bryan is an athlete, however, and if afforded some time, he could slowly round into a solid 4th option at corner, permitting the Cowboys to keep Alan Ball at safety.
Junior Aumavae was first team all-conference for his team, the Western Washington University Vikings, until the school cancelled football. At Minnesota State (formerly Mankato State), Junior also garnered first team all-conference honors. The man is 6-2 and 330 pounds, ideal size for a back-up to Ratliff at the nose tackle position. If Junior (Aumavae) can beat out Junior (Siavii), than Ratliff may have more time to rest up for a strong playoff push.
Unfortunately, the Cowboys really did not address offensive line depth with the draft nor in free agency, but I will be pulling for one player more than any other to make the team this fall. Mike Tepper from the University of California is a real man of character.
Mike was coming off of a redshirt year as a freshman, when he was walking home with a woman volleyball player. The highly recruited Tepper was scheduled to play on the offensive line for Cal’s football team that fall, until something happened on that fateful walk in June.
A car full of thugs started to verbally assault the volleyball player and tried to get her in their car. Mike stepped in to put a stop to it. The hooligans back-up their car over Mike’s leg, then drove over it again, dragging him 30 or so feet.
Tepper had the wherewithal to clothesline the volleyball player out of the way of the onrushing vehicle. She walked away with some bumps, bruises, and scratches. Mike had his leg fractured in four places, including a compound fracture (which is where the bone protrudes from the skin), and ripped all of his ankle ligaments.
Mike was not supposed to walk again, but came back a year later to play left tackle. Mike later tore a pectoral muscle, and was granted an additional year of eligibility.
Mike Tepper was honored for his courage. His toughness and courage would be a welcomed addition to any organization, but he is in Cowboys camp. While he played tackle in college, he may be better suited to play at a guard spot in the NFL.
In a time where questions exist regarding the treatment of women from certain football players, Tepper is the ultimate counterbalance. Personally, I would really like to see the guy stay on the roster.