We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 85.
WR David Durden
Born: 26th December 1998 (24) - Twin City, Georgia
College: West Florida Argonauts
Draft: 2023, UDFA , Dallas Cowboys
2022 Stats: (College)
Yards Per Catch: 20.9
Punt Returns: 14
Punt Ret Yds: 248
Punt Ret TD: 1
David Durden was drafted to play baseball in 2017, following in his father’s footsteps, but he soon retired to play football. That was his passion and he returned to Mercer to play wide receiver. He played his final two years at West Florida and was considered as one the most lethal punt return specialist in the country. His 23 total touchdowns tied the record in the school’s history. In 2022 he led the team in receiving yards and punt return yards and set a West Florida single season record with 13 touchdowns. If teams had continued punting to him in the last month of the season he would of led the nation in punt return yards, but the opposition was to fearful of his skills and refused to give him any chance of returning. He went undrafted this year but was quickly picked up by Dallas.
Durden has a chance to make the roster this year if he can establish himself as a special teams ace. He can play both ways as a returner or gunner on special teams thanks to his size, explosiveness and toughness. But in terms of making the offense, he still needs development and time. Due to the level he played at during college his lack of instincts and feel for the position are a huge knock to his chances of playing as a receiver this year. Another obstacle to him getting targets on offense is that his size and style of play is more suited to playing as a big-slot receiver, and the Cowboys are pretty well set in that regard. If he can get more snappy in his route running, increase his run-after-catch skills or aim to perfect his special teams skills, then Durden looks as though the practice squad will be where he resides this season.
Projected 2023 Stats:
Special Teams Snaps: 66
Slot Snaps: 5
The Big Question:
Does David Durden make the practice squad or crack the final 53-man roster? Leave your answer in the comments section.