The Dallas Cowboys have been pretty good at finding gems in the undrafted free agency realm. Of course, Tony Romo is a prime example of this. With all of the focus on those who got their name called during the draft, many of the UDFA go unnoticed. Let’s take a look at these players, how they fit, and get a little more familiar with them.
This analysis is rather hard at times because finding games to watch from really small schools is not always easy. I try to watch them play but I will also use what others have written about them like Dane Brugler, NFL.com, WalterFootball.com, and so on.
Maybe, the Dallas Cowboys can find another diamond in the rough. Let’s get right to it.
Joel Lanning – ILB/QB/RB – Iowa St
Joel Lanning was a quarterback. However, Lanning moved to inside linebacker at the coaches request in 2017. Lanning agreed and then went to lead Iowa St. in tackles. No big deal for a converted quarterback, it’s actually a huge deal. Oh, did I also mention he also rushed 40 times for 135 yards and scored twice?
Lanning is still learning the position of linebacker, but as productive as he was in 2017, and his ability to play multiple positions, he could find a home. He will most likely have to be a special teams monster, but it is obvious he will do anything to play football and play any position he is asked. His hand needs a lot of work as does his instincts as a linebacker, but as a former quarterback, he might understand the position better than just watching him figuring it out on the field.
Lanning has a long way to become a starting linebacker in the NFL, but could be a jack of all trades. His drive and willingness to do whatever it takes could go a long way to sticking around at least on the practice squad. If you want to see just what Lanning can do, watch the Iowa St win over Oklahoma. Played two-way that game and did well for himself.