Sanjay Lal is one of the more interesting additions to the Cowboys coaching staff this season.
Dallas has seemingly trusted Lal so much so that early on in free agency they went after one of his former pupils, wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
While Watkins ultimately landed in Kansas City, the Cowboys did finally reel in a receiver. They signed Deonte Thompson on Thursday.
Lal coached the Bills receivers from 2015-2016. During his second season with the Bills they entertained the idea of signing another former pupil of Lal’s in Jeremy Kerley, just like the Cowboys did recently with Watkins.
To be totally fair, Kerley was a former pupil of a lot of then-Bills coaches. A lot of the staff at the time had been brought over from the New York Jets with Rex Ryan when he assumed the head coaching job in Buffalo, Lal included.
The point here though is that among the other things reported in that 2016 Kerley visit is a visit from Deonte Thompson to the Bills. Those were the Bills that Sanjay Lal was involved with.
Buffalo actually carried Thompson into training camp in 2015, Rex Ryan even said they got trade calls about him, but they would then place him on injured reserve due to a foot issue during final cuts and release him later when he would link up with the Chicago Bears.
Another one bites the dust. WR Deonte Thompson walks off the field with an injury. Looked like he was tending to his foot.— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) August 27, 2015
So Thompson and Lal almost got to work together in Lal’s first season in Buffalo, but fate intervened and they’ve both been down different paths since then. It is worth noting that the Sanjay-led Bills (as their receivers coach) didn’t bring Deonte back in 2016, though.
While it does stand to reason that the Cowboys interest in Sammy Watkins was Lal-led, perhaps so was the interest in Deonte Thompson. Lal got to know Deonte well through 2015’s training camp, and he just seemingly hasn’t had another opportunity to hook back up with him until now.