Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has repeatedly referred to talent acquisition as a process that does not start and end on any specific date but rather is a year-round process. The talent acquisition process for the Dallas Cowboys did not end with the draft, nor did it end with the signing of college free agents. The Cowboys are inviting additional players on a tryout basis for their rookie minicamp starting on Friday
In total, the Cowboys are bringing in more than 40 players for rookie minicamp.
Last year, the Cowboys invited 14 players for tryouts during rookie minicamp, and four of them ended up going to camp with the Cowboys: RT James Nelson (UTEP), OG D.J. Hall (Texas State), DL Jerome Long (San Diego State), and WR Anthony Amos (Middle Tennessee State). None of them made the Cowboys final roster at the end of the preseason, though Jerome Long was brought in briefly when the defensive line started going kaputt.
Three out of fourteen are actually pretty good odds for these tryout players and should give this year's class all the more reason to give it all they've got at rookie minicamp, where they'll be facing a lot of competition. In total, there will be over 40 players at rookie minicamp over the weekend, though that number could climb to close to 50 over the coming days. Here are the participants we know of:
Draft picks (9): OG Zack Martin, DE Demarcus Lawrence, ILB Anthony Hitchens, WR Devin Street, DE Ben Gardner, OLB Will Smith, SS Ahmad Dixon, DT Ken Bishop, CB Terrance Mitchell
Eligible Non-Rookies (0): These are players who've been on an active NFL roster for less than three games. By my reckoning, that would apply to WR Tim Benford and LB Jonathan Stewart, though we'll need final confirmation for this. [Edit: We have since learned that the Cowboys opted not to include players from last year's practice squad]
Undrafted Free Agents (24): WR L'Damian Washington, FB J.C. Copeland, P Cody Mandell, QB Dustin Vaughan, OG Brian Clarke, TE Jordan Najvar, DT Davon Coleman, CB Dashaun Phillips, LB Dontavis Sapp, LS Casey Kreiter, WR Chris Boyd, RB Ben Malena, S Ryan Smith, ILB Keith Smith, OG Ronald Patrick, OT Jerrod Pughsley, RB Glasco Martin, TE Evan Wilson, FS Marvin Robinson, CB Jocquel Skinner, OT Josh Aladenoye, DE Joe Windsor, OG Andre Cureton, DT Chris Whaley (Whaley may sit out due to his injury).
Tryout players (15): RB Josh Harris (Wake Forest), WR Robert Armstrong (Texas A&M-Kingsville), RB Jyruss Edwards (Louisiana Monroe), DB Aaron Foster (Bowling Green), QB Kolton Browning (Louisiana Monroe), ILB Caleb Levy (Oklahoma State), DT Maurice Couch (Tennessee), CB Brandon McCladdie (Citadel), TE Kaneakua Friel (BYU), WR Lee Kurfis (Lehigh), OLB Eddie Lackey (Baylor), DE Dartwan Bush (Texas Tech), C Gus Handler (Colorado), OL Darius Morris (Temple), CB Tyler Patmon (Oklahoma State).
Others (1): Free agent OT Darius Moore, who last participated in the Houston Texans camp in 2011.
Last year, the Cowboys brought in 14 players on a tryout basis, the year before they brought in 15. We'll assume that the list of names of tryout players will grow over the coming days, and we'll keep it updated.