Dallas Cowboys: Laurent Robinson in review (Beware the 1-Year Wonder)

Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /
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Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Laurent Robinson, WR, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

One of the coolest things in professional sports is the one-year wonder. An under-the-radar athlete beats the odds making the roster. With football rosters starting off with 90 athletes, the chances of cracking the roster as an unknown are higher by volume but harder because more people also mean fewer opportunities to show out.

Over the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have greatly benefitted from undrafted and overlooked free agents. The list starts with players like Cole Beasley, Benson Mayowa, Ronaldo McClain, and Jeff Heath, but near the end of that list stands the subject of today’s film study: Laurent Robinson.

How did Laurent Robinson have his lone successful season with the Dallas Cowboys?

Robinson hails from Rockledge, Florida, and started for the Rockledge Raiders his junior and senior years of high school. Even with a senior season accumulating 900 yards, eleven touchdowns, and a 3A state championship no one came calling for his services. He shortly ended up at Illinois State because his stepfather apparently called the coach who recruited his older brother asking for an opportunity.

Robinson started off slow his first two years but then proceeded to have a record-setting junior season with the Redbirds. While he suffered injuries his final season in Normal, Illinois, he continued to have a productive season which was good enough to get him on the radar of NFL teams. He finished his collegiate career with 37 starts in 43 games, 192 receptions, 3007 receiving yards, and 29 touchdowns.

Robinson decided after four seasons that he would take his talents to the NFL by declaring for the 2007 NFL draft; a draft class with some of the best wide receivers to ever step onto the football field. Calvin Johnson was the headline, but Dwayne Bowe, Sidney Rice, Steve Smith (USC), Jacoby Johnson, and Mike Sims-Walker all proved to have at least solid careers in the NFL. In such a loaded class, one could call it an honor that Robinson found his name called in the third round at pick 75 by the Atlanta Falcons.

Before the Redbird came to Dallas, he spent time in Atlanta and St. Louis. In four seasons for both teams, he caught 89 passes for 1000 yards and 4 touchdowns. Those are great numbers for a single season; quite the opposite over the course of four. In all fairness, Robinson had his fair share of injuries playing only nine games in 2008 and 2009 but for the most part, he was overshadowed by good receiving talents on both teams.

The 2007 and 2008 Atlanta Falcons had Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, and Brian Finneran. The 2009 and 2010 St. Louis Rams had Donnie Avery, Danny Amendola, and Brandon Gibson. Robinson’s production was what you would expect for his role and supporting quarterback play; but it just furthers the notion that he overachieved greatly when he joined the team in 2011.

So enough of the context, we came to understand why Robinson worked in Dallas? Let’s get it!