The NFL Combine starts in a little over two weeks. As a Cowboys fans, you’re probably going to pay special attention to the Big Uglies: the offensive and defensive linemen. You may also be focusing on some of the higher profile prospects like Manti Te’o, Tyrann Mathieu simply because they have recognizable names. You might even look at the competition at QB, perhaps for not other reason that that it will receive a lot of airtime from the Combine. But when some of the lesser known names take the stage, you'll be wondering who to root for.
That’s about to change.
Every year, in addition to 30 usually high profile national draft-eligible players the Cowboys bring in for pre-draft visits, they also bring in some 30+ draft-eligible local prospects who are usually less well known.
These visits by local prospects usually happen in early to mid April and are known as "Dallas Days". A player is considered a local prospect if he went to high school or college in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area, he was born there or his parents live there. That DFW area is defined as stretching from Sanctuary in the West to Princeton in the East, and from Prosper in the North to Glenn Heights in the South. SMU and TCU are the two colleges in the area from which the Cowboys are allowed to invite prospects.
These "Dallas Days" have delivered their share of Cowboys players in the past, with the likes of Patrick Crayton, Bryan McCann, Dez Bryant, Phillip Tanner and more recently Lance Dunbar and Cole Beasley.
We don't yet know which local prospects the Cowboys will invite this year, but we do know which of the 333 players invited to the Combine would qualify as local prospects for the Cowboys. Thanks to BTB member sgitr, who has painstakingly worked to indentify all draft-eligible prospects who qualify for "Dallas Day", here are the names of the 15 local players attending the Combine this year, many of whom you may have never heard of.
|CBS rank||Proj. Round||Player||POS||Combine #||College||Hometown|
|1||1||Luke Joeckel||OT||OL27||Texas A&M||Arlington|
|4||1||Damontre Moore||OLB||DL35||Texas A&M||Rowlett|
|211||6-7||Quinn Sharp||K/P||PK11||Oklahoma State||Mansfield|
|272||7-FA||Kapron Lewis-Moore||DE||DL28||Notre Dame||Weatherford|
|590||- -||Darius Johnson||WR||WO17||SMU||*|
|632||- -||Lanear Sampson||WR||WO28||Baylor||Mesquite|
|* Eligible for Dallas Days because prospect attended local area college|
The players are arranged according to how they rank on the CBS Sports big board. The 'Combine #' is the number they'll be wearing throughout the various Combine events.
The names at the top of the list should be quite familiar to most Cowboys fans, but many of the other names will have even hardcore draftniks scrambling for their draft manuals. But with this list in hand, you'll know who to root for once the lesser known names take the stage at the Combine - you never know, one of them might end up a Cowboy.
The list may not look like much, but of the 15 players on the same list last year, James Hanna ended up being drafted by the Cowboys. This year’s list has a particularly interesting twist in that it is heavy on two positions: of the 15 prospects on the list, six are wide receivers and four are defensive linemen.
If you're planning on watching the Combine, think of this as your Cowboys Rooting Guide for the Combine. And if nothing else, everybody except Tom Ryle can use this list to get a head start on their pet cats this year.