Wednesday is National Signing Day for high school recruits making the jump to college. If you're into that type of thing, the writers at the SB Nation mothership are all over it, and you can check it out here:
National Signing Day 2017 schedule: When dozens of star recruits are set to commit
Predicting where the top 12 uncommitted 2017 college football recruits will sign
Ranking all 50 states by elite recruits *per capita*
We are but a humble NFL team blog, and our concern is primarily about the Dallas Cowboys. So as we approach National Signing Day, we won't look at the high school prospects and where they commit. Instead, we'll go through the Cowboys roster and check out where Cowboys players ranked when they left high school.
There are currently 73 players on te Cowboys roster, including six on injured reserve, twelve signed to a reserve/future contract and two more on the PUP and NFI lists. Five of those players were former five-star recruits coming out of high school. Care to take a guess who those five players are?
It's not Ezekiel Elliott (former 4-Star recruit), it's not Dez Bryant (4), and despite his high draft pedigree, it's not Morris Claiborne (3) either. It's not Zack Martin (4) or Travis Frederick (3) or Dak Prescott (3), so who does that leave?
According to the Rivals database, OT Tyron Smith, OG La'el Collins, LB Jaylon Smith, RB Darren McFadden and QB Mark Sanchez are the former five-star recruits currently on the roster. The database doesn't go back far enough for some Cowboys like Tony Romo or Jason Witten (Rivals has only been in operation since 2001, Romo graduated from high school in 1998, Witten in 1999), other players simply weren't ranked. Overall though, the list below is pretty interesting to look at. If you click on the link provided with each name, you'll be able to see some of the colleges that recruited that specific player. Or you could laugh at the high school pictures of the players - check out Travis Frederick without the beard! For your convenience, the table is sortable (simply click on the blue headers to sort).
|Cowboys players ranked as high school recruits|
|Bailey, Dan||K||Oklahoma State||- -
|Bryant, Dez||WR||Oklahoma State||4||Rivals|
|Butler, Brice||WR||San Diego State||4||Rivals|
|Carr, Brandon||CB||Grand Valley State||- -
|Cleary, Emmett||CB||Boston College||3||Rivals|
|Crawford, Jack||DE||Penn State||3||Rivals|
|Crawford, Tyrone||DT||Boise State||4||Rivals|
||T||Eastern Washington||- -|
|Dunbar, Lance||RB||North Texas||2||Rivals|
||OG||Tennessee St.||- -||Rivals|
|Escobar, Gavin||TE||San Diego State||2||Rivals|
|Free, Doug||OT||Northern Illinois||2||Rivals|
|Heath, Jeff||S||Saginaw Valley State||- -
|Irving, David||DL||Iowa State||2||Rivals|
|Jones, Chris||P||Carson-Newman||- -
|LaDouceur, L.P.||LS||California||- -
|Lawrence, DeMarcus||DE||Boise State||3||Rivals|
|Lee, Sean||LB||Penn State||3||Rivals|
|Martin, Zack||G||Notre Dame||4||Rivals|
|McClain, Terrell||DT||South Florida||3||Rivals|
||CB||San Diego State||2||Rivals|
|Moore, Kellen||QB||Boise State||3||Rivals|
|Romo, Tony||QB||Eastern Illinois||n.a.
|Scandrick, Orlando||CB||Boise State||3||Rivals|
||CB||Middle Tennessee St.||2||Rivals|
|Showers, Jameill||QB||Texas-El Paso||3||Rivals|
||FB||San Jose State||3||Rivals|
|Smith, Rod||RB||Ohio State||4||Rivals|
||DL||Southern Arkansas||- -||Rivals|
|Whitehead, Lucky||WR||Florida Atlantic||2
|Wilber, Kyle||LB||Wake Forest||- -
|Wilcox, J.J.||S||Georgia Southern||- -