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Cowboys To Work Out Quartet Of Former Second Round Picks

The Cowboys are bringing in two running backs and a defensive tackle for workouts this week, all with a second round draft pedigree.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you are prone to hyperbole, you'll probably call anything the 2-3 Cowboys do a "panic move." Boomer Esiason, one of the many second-tier analysts making the occasional splashy headline, appears to be one such guy and believes the Cowboys are in panic mode already.

If you have watched how teams work in the NFL for any amount of time, you'll understand that teams regularly use their bye weeks to schedule workouts with a small army of players who might help those teams improve their roster - or at the very least help churn the bottom of the roster.

Over the past few years, the Cowboys have shown a penchant for bringing in players with a strong draft pedigree who have fallen on hard times. Sometimes these moves have worked out spectacularly, like in the case of former first round pick Rolando McClain, at other times they haven't, most recently with fellow former first round pick Brandon Weeden.

Staying true to that approach, reports surfaced yesterday and today that the Cowboys will work out at least three players with a second round draft pedigree.

RB LaMichael James (now going by LaMike) was a second-round pick for the 49ers in 2012. In four years for the 49ers and the Dolphins, James has 44 rush attempts for 193 yards, and was released by the Dolphins in September. James was a decorated college player, finishing third in the Heisman voting in 2010, but was never able to translate that potential into NFL production. He does however offer some intriguing potential as a return specialist.

RB Isaih Pead was also drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft, but by the Rams. He played in 27 games for the Rams, rushing 19 times for 78 yards, and the Rams also used him as a kick returner. Pead missed the entire 2014 season with an ACL tear.

DT Da'Quan Bowers was a second round pick for the Buccaneers in 2011. He was released by the Bucs during final cuts last month. In four seasons in Tampa, Bowers recorded 66 tackles and seven sacks. Bowers was a big disappointment as a 4-3 pass-rushing end, but appeared to settle in at DT last season for the Bucs. He was cut during final roster cuts this year.

DT Jerel Worthy was a second round pick for the Packers in 2012. He spent the last two years with the Patriots, Chiefs, and Lions, but hasn't played in an NFL game since 2013.

In addition to Bowers, the Cowboys will also work out three more defensive tackles and two linebackers:

- DT Kendrick Ellis (3rd round, 2011)
- DT Casey Walker (UDFA, 2013)
- DT Chuka Ndulue (UDFA, 2015)
- LB Zaviar Gooden (3rd round, 2013)
- LB Darius Eubanks (UDFA, 2013)

Whether the workouts signal real interest in the players, or whether the Cowboys are simply doing their due diligence and updating their emergency list, remains to be seen.

"We're really just looking at guys who can help our team," Garrett said. "We've been banged up at defensive tackle since Terrell McClain's been out. We've had some different guys playing in there.

"We're always looking at the landscape of the players that are available 365 days out of the year. One of the best things we do is we evaluate who is available to us, whether it's guys in the draft, college free agents or pro free agents, guys who are on the street. We've added a lot of guys to our team over the years and even in the last month who have helped us. We'll continue to try to do that."

Their draft pedigree may have earned them an invitation to Valley Ranch, but it's their performance at the workouts that will determine their future.

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