The Dallas Cowboys have a reputation for finding talent where others haven't. Each year after the draft, madness ensues as teams call up the top remaining players on their draft board to see if they'd sign with them as undrafted free agents. Tony Romo, Cole Beasley, Dan Bailey, Lucky Whitehead, Barry Church, and Lance Dunbar are just a few names that have gone undrafted to make contributions to this team. With rookie minicamps starting, the Cowboys will get a better chance to see which undrafted free agents belong long-term in Dallas. Here are the five names that I believe will end up making the final roster.
Chris Brown, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
This one is the most obvious of the guys with a chacne. Chris Brown, not to be confused with the rapper, truly is one of the better-kept secrets in this year's draft. Playing across from Will Fuller over the past few years, Brown hasn't had a chance to shine, but he brings nice athleticism and build for a guy that can contribute from a No. 4 receiver standpoint. Devin Street will face a ton of pressure in camp to keep his job with Brown in town.
Arjen Colquhuon, Cornerback, Michigan State
Cornerback was seen as a need by many people. However, one group of people that didn't get that memo was the Cowboys' brass. Drafting Anthony Brown in the sixth round was a step in the direction of answering the long-term question at the position, but the Cowboys would be wise to continue to add talent to the position. That is where Colquhoun from Michigan State comes into the equation. Colquhoun was much better in his junior season, but if he can work on being more consistent and his ball skills, he has the tools be a nice addition to an NFL secondary.
Rodney Coe, Defensive Tackle, Akron
I know what you're thinking, "another defensive tackle, no way". However, Coe is a guy that the Cowboys have followed for quite some time now. Dallas wants to continue to build the interior part of their defensive line with athleticism. By doing this, the Cowboys are going to consistently rotate their group to get maximum production on each play. If Coe can impress the coaches from the start of minicamps, Terrell McClain's job may be in jeopardy.
Jake Brendel, Center, UCLA
Dallas' offensive line is the best in football, we know that. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't keep monitoring it. The Cowboys would be wise to add one of the smarter offensive lineman in all of the nation in Brendel. The Cowboys want versatility in their backup offensive lineman and Brendel not only has that, but he also can be a force in the running game and can learn a lot behind a guy like Travis Frederick.
Deon King, Outside Linebacker, Norfolk State
The leading tackler in the nation in 2015, King's nose for the football has linebackers coach Matt Eberflus ecstatic about what he can bring to this roster. It's yet to be clear what will happen with Jaylon Smith. The PUP list sounds like the most ideal option right now and because the Cowboys will need around six linebackers for depth and insurance purposes, King's desire and feel for the game on top of his tendency to be near the ball-carrier might give him the advantage over a guy like Andrew Gachkar or Keith Smith.
Ed Eagan, Kick/Punt Returner, Northwestern State: I wanted the Cowboys to use more of Lucky Whitehead to return kicks and punts in 2015, but there was a clear reason why they continuously decided not to use him. I think sixth-round pick Darius Jackson could man this role, but Eagan is going to be a name to remember. He was one of the most dangerous returners in the nation and if he impresses throughout the summer, he'll have a spot on this roster for that reason alone.
Caleb Azubike, Defensive End, Vanderbilt: Playing in the SEC, Azubike has played against some of the best competition in the nation. In Vanderbilt's 3-4 defensive set, the potential wasn't brought out of Azubike as much as it should've been, but the Cowboys have a guy who could possibly be a difference-maker in some sets off the edge. Azubike passes the eye test, that's for sure, but if he can prove that he fits within the Cowboys' scheme, there will be a spot for him.
David Hedelin, Offensive Guard/Tackle, Purdue: I had the chance to interview Hedelin and he seems like the kind of person that will find his way on the roster. There will be some stiff competition, but Hedelin is a road-grading type of offensive lineman that will do whatever it takes to win, which is something he had mentioned in the interview. On top of that, Hedelin can play basically anywhere on the offensive line, at least that's what he said.
Rolan Milligen, Safety, Toledo: Safety remains a huge question mark for the Cowboys. Byron Jones will make the transition to free safety this year. Not only is it yet to be certain who will play across from him, but the depth at the position isn't that good either. Plus, Barry Church's and J.J. Wilcox's contracts expire after the 2016 season. Like Church, Milligen is a safety from Toledo. If Milligen can prove that he'll be a special teams stud, Dallas will find a way to keep him for that reason.
Jeremiah McKinnon, Cornerback, Florida International: Another player I had the chance of interviewing was McKinnon. Based off the interview, McKinnon is absolutely ecstatic to be apart of this organization. He was a late bloomer at FIU, but he was a consistent tackler and an intelligent cornerback. McKinnon continuously expressed that he'll do whatever the coaching staff asks him to do. With the questions of depth at the position, McKinnon will have all the opportunity in the world to prove himself to this coaching staff and get a spot. Admittedly, that spot will likely be one of the lasts on the roster.