Over the last 20 years or so, the Dallas Cowboys have developed a knack for finding exceptional talent after the draft. College prospects who don’t hear their name called during the seven rounds of the NFL draft are free to sign with whatever team they like, and those that were overlooked sometimes become underrated. America’s Team has made a habit of unearthing diamonds in the rough after the final day of the draft. Examples of their fantastic finds include Miles Austin, Cole Beasley, and franchise quarterback Tony Romo.
Thus far, the Cowboys have come to terms with twelve undrafted free agents. According to Marcus Mosher of Locked on Cowboys, eight of those players were ranked in Dane Brugler’s top 300 of eligible draftees. The Cowboys appear to have excellent value after the draft if that’s any indication of the talent they’ve just picked up. Long rumored to be in the market for a receiver during the draft, the Cowboys signed three receivers on Saturday. David Durden, Jalen Moreno-Cropper, and Jose Barbon.
Here’s what Dallas is getting in wide receiver, David Durden.#GoArgos | #Arete pic.twitter.com/28tsMFkExX— UWF Football (@UWFFootball) April 29, 2023
Durden was once a baseball prospect signed by the Boston Red Sox but returned to the gridiron and posted 54 receptions for 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns his senior year at West Florida while being a special teams contributor. He’s got experience in both returning punts and playing the gunner position. Moreno-Cropper is a speedy slot receiver that earned All-American honors last year.
The team also added two cornerbacks in their undrafted crop. Myles Brooks and D’Angelo Mandell are both corners that fit the size archetype that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn covets. Mandell and Brooks would serve as developmental boundary corners that would be in direct competition with Nashon Wright. Mandell and Brooks would best serve to play in press-man coverage. With almost ten-inch hands, Brooks has ball skills and is adept at defending the pass. He intercepted three passes last season.
Perhaps the prize of this undrafted class is Hunter Luepke. Don’t be fooled by the fullback designation next to his name. Luepke is a dynamic piece that has experience playing in several positions. He has played tailback, fullback, and tight end. Luepke compares more closely to Kyle Juszczyk than a traditional fullback and as McCarthy has shown in the past, he knows how to incorporate the fullback into the passing attack.
Pack your fiddle @HunterLuepke, you're headed back to Texas. @dallascowboys | #ProBison pic.twitter.com/9NS1LT2xEM— NDSU Football (@NDSUfootball) April 30, 2023
In addition to the skill positions, the Cowboys also signed offensive tackle Earl Bostick Jr. who is an athletic offensive talent that was converted from a tight end to an offensive tackle. According to Next Gen Stats, Bostick Jr. had the eighth-best athletic score among offensive tackles at the combine. He has good footwork in pass protection and could compete as a swing tackle in the future. There is some concern about his immediate playing strength and ability to block in the running game, but the team feels good enough about his future to sign him to a guaranteed contract of $200,000.