The Cowboys had nine undrafted free agents on their roster starting at least one game in 2019. La'el Collins (15 starts), Jeff Heath (13), Antwaun Woods (10), Blake Jarwin (7), Jamize Olawale (5), Joe Thomas (2), and Brandon Knight (1) all went undrafted and took a sometimes circuitous route to the NFL. Add special teamers Kai Forbath, Chris Jones, and L.P. Ladouceur, along with other recent UDFAs like Cooper Rush or Justin March, and you begin to understand the importance undrafted free agents (UDFAs) have for the Cowboys, who have been quite successful in bringing in UDFAs over the years.
And one of the reasons for the Cowboys’ success with UDFAs is that the team doesn’t allow scouts to “come off grade”. If they have a grade on a guy before the draft, they have to stick with it after the draft. Which means that after the draft, they try and sign every guy still left on their draft board as they feel those players effectively amount to extra draft picks.
Tthat’s why we also make a point of tracking these UDFA signings. Full disclaimer here before you go any further: tracking and confirming actual signings of undrafted free agents can be tricky. The sources of these transactions come from all over, Twitter included, and sometimes they are not 100% reliable. Also, all reported deals are agreements, and players could back out of deals over next few days.
One of the reasons these signings happen so fast is that a lot of teams already have deals worked out in advance with prospective UDFAs.
But this year, with the complication of working remotely, the process that is already very chaotic may devolve even more. Jim Nagy of SB Nation explains in a long Twitter thread.
One thing we haven’t seen addressed on here are the challenges of conducting undrafted free agency “virtually”. Every team’s process is slightly different but here is a general example of what happens behind-the-scenes of the chaotic hour immediately following the draft...— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 8, 2020
So, with that in mind, below is a tracker of players who have been reported to have signed with the Dallas Cowboys as undrafted free agents. At the bottom of the post, you'll find a short profile of each player when time permits - all added as the names become available, so refresh this page often.
Here’s the sequence in which the names came in while we were live tracking the signings on Saturday and Sunday. These are all reported signings or agreements, but as noted above, they could change.
- TCU RB Sewo Olonilua (via Bobby Belt)
- UAB DT Garrett Marino (via Terez Paylor)
- UNT EDGE Ladarius Hamilton (via Tom Pelissero)
- Utah LB Francis Bernard (via Josh Newman)
- Michigan TE Sean McKeon (via Josh Henschke)
- URI WR Aaron Parker (via Mark Daniels)
- South Carolina RB Rico Dowdle (via Rico Dowdle)
- James Madison EDGE Ron’Dell Carter (via Bobby Belt)
- Mississippi State WR Stephen Guidry (via Bobby Belt)
- Illinois State S Luther Kirk (via Andre DiCecco)
- Texas Tech OT Terence Steele (via Jane Slater)
- Portland State TE Charlie Taumoepeau (via Cleodis Floyd)
- Kansas EDGE Azur Kamara (via Patrik Walker)
- Texas A&M WR Kendrick Rogers (via Travis L. Brown)
- TCU RB Darius Anderson (via Todd Archer)
Last updated on Monday, April 27th at 12:50pm ET
It was previously reported that Texas A&M WR Quartney Davis was signing with the Cowboys. He is reportedly headed to the Minnesota Vikings instead.
DT Garrett Marino, UAB (6-2, 290) - via The DraftNetwork:
Garrett Marino projects as a pass rush specialist at the NFL level. An interior defender who can be rotated in on obvious passing situations, Marino’s niche role is small in the grand scheme of things, but can be an impactful one. His first step quickness and savvy hand counters make him difficult to land punches on — but physical limitations will also make it nearly impossible for him to command an every down role. May be forced into UDFA range due to athletic profile — but worth a shot.
RB/FB Sewo Olonilua, TCU (6-3, 232) - via NFL.com
When going through a scouting checklist for running backs, Olonilua fails to gain check marks in several categories, but he’s still an alluring prospect with a unique combination of size, speed and an ability to create favorable angles despite a lack of elusive in short spaces. He’s a better runner outside than he is inside, but that must change in the pros. If he can trim down to improve his burst and give a more determined effort in pass protection, he might be able to find work as a RB3/RB4.
DE Ladarius Hamilton, North Texas, (6-2, 262) - via NFL.com
Played as an odd-front end for much of 2019, but will likely be targeted as a 4-3 base end as a pro. Hamilton plays with good toughness and attitude, but his movement is heavy and extremely rigid. You won’t see him making a bunch of tackles, but he does have edge-setting strength and determination. He has steadily improved as a pass rusher, but athletic limitations could make it challenging to translate his college production into the pros.
LB Francis Bernard, Utah, (6-0, 234) - via ProFootballNetwork
To sum up, Bernard is a wrecking ball enforcer for the Utah Utes and looks the part of an NFL-ready linebacker. Bernard displays borderline elite play recognition, as well as NFL-ready instincts. He’s a playmaker against the run and the pass and he is the ‘quarterback’ of the Utah defense. Francis Bernard can join Eric Rowe, Garrett Bolles, and Marquise Blair as recent top-50 picks in the NFL Draft from Utah.
Bernard can play as a MIKE or a WILL linebacker in the NFL and reminds me of fellow Pac-12 star linebacker Eric Kendricks. Much like Kendricks, Bernard’s “size” and lack of elite athleticism will keep him out of the first-round but will make him a steal for whichever team scoops him up afterward.
RB Rico Dowdle, South Cariolina (5-11, 213) - via NFL.com
There are strengths and areas that need improvement, but when it is all said and done, Dowdle has pro size, vision and toughness as a runner. His elusiveness is created with vision rather than wiggle and he’s more determined than punishing as a finisher. His tape was great to start the 2019 season but faded after an injury in early October against Florida on his first carry. While he’s handled third-down duties, he needs to become a better pass-catcher and pocket protector as a pro. He may not be fast, but there is plenty of burst for inside/outside running. Dowdle has the tape and traits to become a three-down backup or committee running back.
WR Aaron Parker, Rhode Island, (6-2, 209) - via NFL.com
Later-round prospect who wins with good size and fantastic ball skills. Parker’s high school basketball background shows up on 50/50 throws. His body control, timing and hand strength translate on any level of football. He’s not fast and is too content to win in the air rather than with clever route running. He’s instinctive working zone-beaters underneath and his toughness as a run blocker will earn him points. He’s a talented ball-winner as a big slot, but a lack of long speed and separation quickness make improved route-running a top priority for his step up in competition.
TE Sean McKeon, Michigan, (6-5, 242) - via MaiznBrew.com
McKeon projects best as an in-line “Y” receiver at the next level and someone who has a chance to crack a roster as a third/developmental tight end on the depth chart. He is a willing-enough blocker and improved there in his time in Ann Arbor, but will need to add more strength to his frame to hold up in this area at the next level. There is not a lot of explosion, burst or separation to his game and his opportunities mostly come when he is working in the soft spots on the defense, though he has extremely soft hands and is a player that is capable of cashing in on opportunities he gets in the passing game. He was a solid college tight end, but without the athletic traits or ability to flex out wide, this is probably a prospect that waits things out until late on day three and potentially for undrafted free agency.
EDGE Ron’Dell Carter, James Madison (6-3, 269) - via CBSSports
Carter was a force for the Dukes with 23.5 sacks and 48 tackles for loss in his three seasons as a contributor there. As a senior, the rocked-up 6-3, 269-pounder had 12 sacks with a ridiculous 27 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
His pass-rush moves need some sharpening, but there’s no doubting Carter’s NFL-caliber explosiveness and bendy ways around the corner. Plus, at his size, he sets a rock-solid edge.
WR Stephen Guidry, James Madison (6-3, 269) - via The DraftNetwork:
Stephen Guidry presents as a developmental receiver prospect at the pro level. Guidry is fairly raw still, he played just two seasons of FBS ball after transferring in as a JUCO to MSST in for 2018-2019 seasons. Guidry has a notable athletic profile and good length at his disposal but flashing bodies over the middle can produce negative results and he’s too often stuck on defenders to avoid frustrating lapses. He’ll need to become a better route technician to command high snap volume.
S Luther Kirk, Illinois State (6-2, 200) - via The DraftNetwork
Luther Kirk did not appear on any watch lists entering the season but has since catapulted up many. He is a long and lanky prospect on the back-end of the Illinois State’s defense and known for his range and ball skills. Recording five interceptions during the 2018 season, teams were cautious throwing into his coverage.
Kirk’s defensive leadership is often seen throughout the communication of the secondary and with the specific assignments assigned to each player. Kirk, a two-time team captain, still has plenty of questions to answer after taking a leave of absence for personal reasons and missing the entire 2017 season.
OT Terence Steele, Texas Tech (6-6, 312) - via NFL.com
Four-year starter and team captain with desired NFL size and length but a lack of functional bend and reactive movement is hard to get past. He’s an intelligent, experienced right tackle who works to his abilities on a fairly consistent basis. He struggles when his length can’t save him against moving targets in the run game and against sharp rush counters in pass pro. Despite his leg stiffness, he does a nice job of taking on opponents in front of him, but NFL tackles require much better reactive athleticism and recovery ability than he is able to play with.
TE Charlie Taumoepeau, Portland State (6-2, 240) - via The Athletic
Taumoepeau is a hands-catcher with a knack for finding the void between linebackers and safeties, attacking and securing to move the chains. However, he tends to telegraph his patterns, which makes it easy on defenders to drive on his breaks. Overall, Taumoepeau is an efficient receiver and try-hard blocker who is willing to run through a wall for his team, but his pedestrian athleticism might make it tough for him to stand out during camp.
EDGE Azur Kamara, Kansas (6-3, 245) - via NFL.com
Kamara has just one season as a full-time starter at Kansas and, subsequently, one season of production. Hip tightness limits his rush flow and makes his attacks rigid and linear. He’s missing instincts and feel to be able to play freely and fast against the run at this time. Putting more functional mass on his frame will be critical, if he can carry it. He’s tremendously raw and unskilled as a rusher, which might work in his favor for teams looking for a long-limbed project to build from the ground up.
WR Kendrick Rogers, Texas A&M (6-4, 208) - via The Athletic
Rogers looks like a basketball athlete in pads, showing the speed, body control and ball skills that translate to the next level. However, he relies too much on his raw ability, struggling to uncover or focus on the particulars of the position. Overall, Rogers has intriguing physical traits with his length and athleticism, but he leaves you wanting more as his game lacks sophistication, toughness or consistency, projecting as a late round or undrafted flier.
RB Darius Anderson, TCU, 5-11, 208 - via LastWordOnFootball
Darius Anderson will most likely be a day three pick with some upside for a team that needs to add depth at running back. His best chance of making a team’s roster will be because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and his kick return experience. At best, Anderson looks to be a third down or change of pace back in the NFL. He doesn’t have the speed or power to be an every down running back in this league.
|240||Kendrick Rogers||WR||Texas A&M||6-4||208|
|259||Terence Steele||OT||Texas Tech||6-6||312|
|282||Charlie Taumoepeau||TE||Portland State||6-2||240|
|316||Stephen Guidry||WR||Miss. State||6-3||201|
|346||Ladarius Hamilton||DE||North Texas||6-2||262|
|349||Rico Dowdle||RB||South Cariolina||5-11||213|
|362||Ron'Dell Carter||DE||James Madison||6-3||269|
|486||Luther Kirk||S||Illinois State||6-2||200|