Like most young football players who grow up in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, as a boy Josh Mauro dreamed of the day when he would don a silver football helmet clad with a big blue star. Unlike many of the kids whom he played Pee-Wee and scholastic football with, Mauro recently took another significant step toward seeing that dream become a reality as he worked out for the Dallas Cowboys in preparation for the 2014 NFL Draft. To make the moment even more special for the young man who played his high school ball for L. D. Bell High School in nearby Hurst, his family had the opportunity to witness the Cowboys staff putting him through his paces.
"It's kind of like a dream come true. Playing Pee Wee football and high school, you see the Cowboys and it's like a dream to think you could play for them. This isn't a sign-up for the Cowboys, but to even have the opportunity to work out for them is something special." Josh Mauro
Not only is it a golden (or should I say silver) opportunity for him to potentially become a part of the team he grew up cheering for, it may also be a significant opportunity for the Cowboys as well. With future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware set to wear the colors of the Denver Broncos in 2014 and his linemate Jason Hatcher joining the team's oldest rival, the Washington Redskins; the Dallas Cowboys have plenty of needs along the defensive line. As a DE, Mauro came into his own during the 2013 NCAA season. As a Cowboy, Josh would have an immediate opportunity to make his mark as one of Rod Marinelli and Leon Lett's " Rushmen". He is well aware of what would be within his grasp if the Cowboys do call his name this May.
"You're talking two, possibly three starters up front in that defense that aren't there anymore,"
Right now, Rob Rang at NFLDraftScout.com has Josh Mauro as a fourth-round selection and the number 12 defensive end in the draft class. While this is a far cry from the goal of becoming a first-round selection that Mauro set for himself when he made the journey west to California to play college ball, he still finds himself in a place where he is able to make his childhood dreams come true. The young man has made it a practice of setting his goals high.
I always set the bar high so even if I fall short of my expectations I'd still end up in a good place.
That is good advice for anyone, and it is something that will certainly appeal to Dallas head coach Jason Garrett and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. Both men are known for an affinity for players who believe in themselves and who drive themselves to get a little bit better each day. That is one place where Mauro definitely fits the Cowboy Way.
Three years in the program I hadn't played very much. The fourth year I came in off the bench and was the energy guy … . My fifth year I ended up starting 11 games and was productive and helped one of the best defenses in the nation. Everything is kind of surreal. You couldn't plan it out. You just always have to believe in yourself if no one is believing in you."
To me, that sounds a lot like another guy who recently wore the star and who fought his way up the ranks as a player, eventually to become as started and Pro Bowl player on the Dallas defensive line. Josh Mauro could certainly do much worse than following the route that Jason Hatcher took in his rise as a Dallas Cowboy.