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How Many Undrafted Free Agents Will Make The Dallas Cowboys Roster?

We take a quick look at a handful of undrafted free agents currently on the Cowboys roster who have a chance of making the season-opeing 53-man roster, remote as that chance may be.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Over the years, Cowboys fans and the Cowboys front office have taken a certain pride in the amount and quality of undrafted free agents that have made the roster, as the Cowboys have traditionally been a good place for college free agents who went undrafted. Everybody has, of course, heard the stories of Tony Romo and Miles Austin, to name just two of the more recent examples of undrafted free agents who eventually ended up as stars for the Cowboys. Those and other signings have earned the Cowboys a reputation for signing undrafted free agents who develop into key contributors.

"We’ll continue to take a lot of pride in that," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "It’s a priority for us. If you end up getting the top five or six guys that you’re after that you would have taken [in the draft], then it’s like having three more, five more, six more seventh-round picks. We think that pays off for us."

Over the last five years, 16 UDFA players made the Cowboys' opening-day roster. Here are the Cowboys' UDFAs who survived training camp to make it onto the initial 53-man roster.

  • 2010: OC Phil Costa, S Barry Church, S Danny McCray, FB Chris Gronkowski.
  • 2011: RB Phillip Tanner, OC Kevin Kowalski, OLB Alex Albright, K Dan Bailey
  • 2012: OG Ronald Leary, WR Cole Beasley, RB Lance Dunbar
  • 2013: S Jeff Heath
  • 2014: QB Dustin Vaughan, CB Tyler Patmon, DT Davon Coleman, OT Donald Hawkins

You could take this as a sign of the quality of the Cowboys' scouting department, who seem to be able to land an eventual starter from the UDFA ranks almost every year. You could also take it as a sign of weak depth across the roster, where undrafted free agents take up slots that other teams might be able to fill with draft picks.

Be that as it may, this year is likely going to be very  tough for undrafted college free agents to make the roster, especially since the Cowboys had three seventh-round picks. All three were just couple of minutes away from being UDFAs themselves, and all of whom are just as intent making the roster as the UDFAs are.

Of this year's UDFA class, OG La'el Collins is a roster lock, but the chances of other UDFAs aren't anywhere close to that.

  • WR Lucky Whitehead impressed in OTAs as a receiver and a returner, and could force the Cowboys into keeping a fifth receiver on their roster.
  • WR George Farmer received a large signing bonus but was relatively quiet during the OTAs, and only began picking up the pace in minicamp. Can he challenge for an extra wide receiver spot?
  • A walk-on during rookie minicamp, OT Reshod Fortenberry faces very long odds to become part of a very deep O-line, but he's received very positive reviews so far.
  • Safety Tim Scott was a four-year starter for North Carolina, has the position flex to play both corner and safety, and may be the only true free safety on the roster. But can he claim a spot at a position that will carry a maximum of four players and perhaps just three?

Let us know in the attached poll which of these four players you think could make the roster, or let us know in the comments which other UDFA you think should make the roster.

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