Who is the next Tony Romo? Who is the next Cole Beasley? Who is the next Dan Bailey? In recent years, the Dallas Cowboys have done an outstanding talent of evaluating undrafted free agents. It is just one example, but Romo turned into one of the franchise’s best quarterbacks.
There is a place for undrafted free agents in the NFL. You are seeing it year after year with players across the NFL. Wes Welker? Undrafted. Chris Harris? Undrafted. Jason Peters? Undrafted. The examples are endless, so just because a prospect’s name was not heard in the draft does not mean their NFL careers and hopes should be discounted .
After the conclusion of the 2018 NFL Draft, many talented players were scooped up by NFL teams. The Cowboys did so as well, looking to add legitimate competition across their roster. While their draft prospects will get the most attention, Dallas’ undrafted free agents deserve some attention as well. Let’s get to know some of the undrafted free agents who have signed with the Cowboys.
Marchie Murdock, Wide Receiver, Iowa State (@KingMarch2)
At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, testing with a 4.63 40-time, Murdock does not have elite athletic measurables. He spent time at both Illinois and Iowa State, playing 2017 at the latter. A Texas product, Murdock is a technician at receiver for his ability to work back to footballs and his quickness off the line of scrimmage. Still, with a receivers room as crowded as the Cowboys, Murdock will really need to put on a show to stick here.
Dalton Sturm, Quarterback, UTSA (@dalton_sturm)
After adding Sturm, the Cowboys all of a sudden have a few quarterbacks to work with. Dak Prescott is obviously the starter going forward, but the Cowboys drafted Mike White in the fifth round and signed Sturm to give Cooper Rush some competition. Sturm is known for creating special plays when the pocket collapses. With good size and a penchant for not turning the ball over, Sturm could provide some buzz given that he will be used heavily as a camp quarterback.
Malik Earl, Wide Receiver, Missouri State (@_justMALIK)
Dallas actually used one of their 30 pre-draft visits on Earl, so they are definitely ecstatic that he signed here in the undrafted free agency process. With Earl, the Cowboys will have a player who could beat up on cornerbacks due to his tenacity and swagger on the field. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Earl moves pretty well. Similar to Murdock, Earl will really have to prove himself to make the final roster.
David Wells, Tight End, San Diego State (@DavidWells14)
Not surprising that the Cowboys brought in Wells, as he is quite well-versed in the run-blocking department. At 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, Wells received a combine invite, putting up respectable numbers. He ran a 4.75 40-yard dash and put up 20 reps on the bench press. With the recent retirements of Jason Witten and James Hanna, the Cowboys have openings at tight end.
If Wells shows his ability in the running game and displays some pass-catching ability to go along with it, he could stick around. Any tight end that can block in the running game stands a chance in Dallas.
Jake Campos, Offensive Lineman, Iowa State (@JCampos_67)
Dallas’ brass must have watched a lot of Cyclones games this past year because this is the second of three players they brought in for extended looks. Campos is a guy to watch in this group. At 6-foot-8, 300 pounds, Campos is versatile enough to play across the line. His best trait is his ability in the pass-blocking department. A team captain for Iowa State, Campos could be a nice depth player on offensive line for Dallas.
Jordan Chunn, Running Back, Troy (@jtchunn038)
Dallas replaced Kevin Smith with Jamize Olawale at the fullback position, but that did not stop the Cowboys from adding another bigger back in the undrafted free agency process. At 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, Chunn played running back at Troy, but he projects best at fullback due to his power and blocking ability.
Bryce Johnson, Offensive Guard, St. Cloud State (@brycejohnson63)
It really is surprising that a 6-foot-5, 315-pound offensive lineman who runs a 5.1 40-time did not receive more attention. Johnson projects as a guard in the future, as that is the position he has excelled in at recent years. Johnson came to campus at 270 pounds, so he has added to his frame accordingly in recent years. If Johnson can flash potential in either the run and passing game, he might battle for a backup/practice squad postion.
Donovan Olumba, Cornerback/Safety, Portland State (@olumbadx)
At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Olumba is a bigger safety and he plays that way. He is not only an extremely competitive player, but he also has the ability to play either cornerback or safety. In terms of his NFL projection, he will likely fit better at strong safety. Knowing Kris Richard’s preference with defensive backs, Olumba could impress Dallas.
Kameron Kelly, Safety, San Diego State (@kaetwice7)
A safety-converted-cornerback, Kelly was one of the better players who went undrafted. A four-year contributor for the Aztecs, Kelly intrigues the Cowboys for his length paired with his frame. At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Kelly has a nose for the football, and his production proves it. He is a rangy player and while there are tackling issues, Kelly could be a nice player for the Cowboys thanks to his positional flexibility and experience at both defensive back positions.
Joel Lanning, Linebacker, Iowa State (@JFL_02)
Another Cyclone, Lanning is an intriguing player. Coming to Iowa State, Lanning was originally a quarterback, but he switched over to linebacker and the move paid dividends. Despite just one season at the linebacker position, Lanning led the team in tackles, captaining the Cyclones’ stout defense. There are issues with his measurables and test results, but Lanning is a competitor whose work-ethic could lead for a special teams role with the Cowboys.
Kyle Queiro, Safety/Cornerback, Northwestern (@Kyles_Style)
A PFF All-Big Ten team player, Queiro was an extremely productive player at Northwestern, a program that is known for their coaching. With two years as a starter, Queiro was a leader for the Wildcats, making plays when they counted. At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, with long arms and a wide wingspan, Queiro’s frame checks out. He lacks in speed, but his instincts and ball skills are good.
Jashon Robertson, Offensive Guard, Tennessee (@jrob_75)
Injuries greatly hurt Robertson’s opportunity at making his name well known, but he was a quality starter for a long time in the SEC. Dallas added yet another low-risk, high-reward undrafted free agent with Robertson, as he could play a role as a depth player. He has good size at 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, and decent mobility along with it.
Charvarius Ward, Cornerback, Middle Tennessee State (@_TheRealDBU)
Middle Tennessee State received attention this past year when Kevin Byard quietly became one of the best defensive backs in football for the Titans. Ward is the next great product from the Blue Raiders’ secondary. With a 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame, Ward has good ball skills and above-average cover skills. He signed as a preferred walk-on with the Cowboys, so Ward is definitely a name on this list who could stick around.
DeQuinton Osborne, Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma State (@3techFinesse)
Take a look at that Twitter handle. That will tell you how Osborne sees himself and his NFL future. Many were hoping for the Cowboys to get Poona Ford in the undrafted free agency process, but Osborne’s profile is quite similar. He is a stout and difficult to move at 5-foot-11, 315 pounds. His best fit in the NFL will be as a run-stuffing/space-clogging defensive tackle who anchors in the middle and takes on double teams. Fortunately for him, the Cowboys have severe questions in the interior, so look out for Osborne.
Ed Shockley, Linebacker, Villanova (@EdShockley)
The size is not spectacular at 5-foot-11, 230 pounds, but Shockey was every bit of the word ‘productive’ for the Wildcats. A standout in the NFLPA Game, Shockley was simply everywhere. A team captain for Villanova, Shockley seems to have a tracker on the football. He is the type of player who could stick around and be a contributor on special teams.
[UPDATE] We have a new player recently added to the UDFA group.
Tyree Robinson, Safety, Oregon
Kris Richard likes big defensive backs, and Robinson doesn’t disappoint with a 6-foot-3, 200 pound frame, although he could obviously add more weight and strength. It’s reported that Robinson is a good technician and can play the deep safety spot, but can occasionally take bad angles. He doesn’t have elite speed but is good at going after the ball with good leaping ability. He has versatility at safety and corner.