Every year following the NFL Draft, teams scour the undrafted free agents for potential gems, here are the UDFAs for the 2021 Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys have had some luck finding really good players in the undrafted free agent period after the draft, one of the best, of course, is Tony Romo. There have been more and sometimes these guys end up becoming stars. Most of the players scrape to make the team and hang around on practice squads, end up as depth players, or become special teams players.
Let’s look at the top undrafted free agents the Dallas Cowboys signed in 2021
With all the attention on the players drafted in the seven rounds before the UDFA period, a few years ago I thought it would be smart to break down these players and explain who they are and how they fit. This year, the Cowboys have brought in thirteen players (as of writing this more could be added). There was a focus on offense with ten of the thirteen on that side of the ball.
Let’s start diving into these thirteen players with my pet cat…
Nick Ralston – Fullback/Tight End/Special Teams – University of Lousiana via AZ State
Not knowing what to expect when it came to Nick Ralston I went looking for some University of Lousiana games and Arizona State games. Immediately I came across his tweet of him pulling a semi, and I was intrigued.
One of the first things I saw when watching Ralston is how much he loves to block. There were many instances of him peeling off to take on a defensive end setting an edge and not just moving him, but blowing the end back or onto the ground. Unafraid to take on the bigger players, Ralston as a lead blocker is violent and in one instance took on two defenders at once and won.
He will shed his first block and look for another block to make to seal off lanes. He has soft hands in the passing game which gives him some viability at tight end and in the passing game out of the backfield. In short-yardage situations, Ralston gets low and gains tough yards, both for first downs and at the goal line. He also plays special teams and gets downfield faster than his 40 time would make one think and looks to blow up blockers and returners alike.
The downside to Ralston is he is a jack of all trades, but really a master of none for today’s game. He is strictly a North/South runner and should really be used for short-yardage situations as a running back. He is not really a three-down back, a full-time tight end, and is more of a throwback to fullback, which the NFL has slowly gotten away from.
If he can prove he can play multiple roles given his ability to play special teams he could find his way as a third running back on game day. There is a lot to like in terms of raw athleticism and ability, just the question will be if is his position expendable. He does add something the Cowboys haven’t had in a tough short-yardage running back, which could help take some load off of Ezekiel Elliott.