The Dallas Cowboys are drafting exceptionally well, but they are just as successful in signing undrafted players, too.
The Dallas Cowboys are considered one of the favorites to make a Super Bowl run because they have a roster full of talented players. The Cowboys didn’t become a good team because it spent a boatload of money on free agents. No, the Cowboys did it the hard and old fashion way: building a championship caliber team through the draft.
If you’re a true Cowboys fan, you watch the draft every year. You know the type of players this team will select — even if you’ve never heard of the player. In the 2018 NFL draft, the Cowboys drafted linebacker Leighton Vander Esch out of Boise State with the 18th overall pick in the first round.
From Cowboys Nation to NFL analysts, Vander Esch was not a household name to say the least. Fast forward after one full season under his belt, and LVE is half of the best linebacking corps in the NFL with Jaylon Smith. LVE can flat out play and is a perennial Pro Bowler in the making.
After every draft, Dallas signs several undrafted free agents. Immediately after this year’s draft, Dallas signed undrafted defensive back Chris Westry out the University of Kentucky.
Westry may not be a popular name but this unknown rookie has a good chance of making the 53-man roster. I know you’re wondering what’s so special about Westry considering he was not drafted. But hey, former slot receiver Cole Beasley wasn’t drafted either and he turned out to a really good receiver.
What makes Westry unique is his physical traits. Westry stands 6’4″, has really long arms (33 3/4″ arms) and has been timed running a 4.31 40-yard dash. That’s a fast man! Also, Westry fits defensive backs coach Kris Richard‘s type of player-tall, strong, with extremely long arms.
This is what Kris Richard had to say about Westry:
"“We’re very thrilled to sign Westry. He’s a ball of clay for us. It’s just really cool to have a guy with that type of athletic ability beyond the profile fit. Obviously again, the number one thing we’re looking ofr is, we’ll get him to be able to play the technique. Physicality, the aggressive nature, we want for thim to be able to fit the embodiment for what we ask for all of our defensive backs.”"
If Richard likes Westry’s tangibles and wants to mold him into a ball of clay, then I feel more than comfortable about Westry not only making the team, but being a key contributor. Maybe Richard sees Westry in the same manner he sees former Pro Bowler Richard Sherman-a fifth rounder who is one of the best to ever play the position.
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Site expert Reid Hanson wrote an article about how Richard zeros in on the traits of a defensive back rather than drafting the best player available. That speaks volumes because that means Richard can teach to the specifics that fits his scheme to make Westry just as valuable as a more touted player.
Although Westry’s collegiate stats don’t jump off the board, he did play in all 51 games with 34 starts, recorded 134 tackles, 3.5 tfl, 2.0 sacks, 15 PUBs, three ints, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and a quarterback hit.
That translates to Westry being dependable, a good tackler, knows how to track the ball, and someone with potential to improve. It’s the same approach New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick uses. Belichick finds and develops players to fit a particular scheme. And its worked.
If Westry can contribute right away, this will be another impact player on an already dominant defense. Boom!
- Published on 06/29/2019 at 12:10 PM
- Last updated at 06/28/2019 at 12:11 PM