This Dallas Cowboys rookie “has a chance to be special” and a Day 3 steal

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) /

Wisconsin tight end Jake Ferguson wasn’t Dallas’ top TE prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft class. By most accounts, he wasn’t even their second. But by the time the Dallas Cowboys went on the clock at pick 129, he was the best remaining option on the board. Less than one month later, the Cowboys wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ferguson has been a standout in minicamp and looks like he could be an accidental Day 3 steal for the Dallas Cowboys this year.

Not too long ago, the Dallas Cowboys followed a similar route in filling their developmental QB position. After striking out on Option A and Option B, Dallas “settled” for the best on their board deep into the fourth round. One Dak Prescott selection later and they look like geniuses, even if the outcome wasn’t exactly planned.

The Dallas Cowboys hope they find the same fortune with Jake Ferguson at tight end.

The 6-foot-5, 250lb blocker from Wisconsin didn’t enter the draft cycle a very hot prospect. With just 46 receptions for 450 yards, he didn’t exactly light up the stat sheet as a senior. He wasn’t very strong, quick, fast, or explosive, and to most scouts he screamed JAG (just a guy).

So when news broke over the rookie minicamp that Jake Ferguson was turning heads and dropping jaws, people took notice.

Jake Ferguson looks like another Day 3 steal for the Dallas Cowboys and could make a big impact in the NFL.

NFL reporter Matt Lombardo noted that Ferguson was a standout in camp and even “has a chance to be special.” He specifically pointed to Ferg’s physicality and body control in the passing game.

Building hype this time of year is nothing new for Cowboys Nation but this report doesn’t come out of nowhere. Ferguson is an admitted “pet cat” of mine from the Senior Bowl. He matched up well against a variety of opponents and earned praise then for his physicality in the run game and overall willingness to stick his face in the ceiling fan (to use one of my favorite scouting expressions).

Most noteworthily, he showed he can be a legit weapon as a pass-catcher – something he continued to show in the Dallas Cowboys rookie minicamp.

Just because a player isn’t fast or explosive in combine drills doesn’t mean they aren’t athletic on the football field. On film, Ferguson has shown he has football speed and plus-level athleticism. While his receiving totals weren’t gaudy, they still led the team on Wisconsin’s run-heavy offense.

The Ferguson pick deviates from the Dallas Cowboys draft model this year. Dallas aggressively targeted traits over polish and ceiling over floor in this draft cycle – with Ferg being the clear exception.

Hitting big in the fourth round is nothing new for the Cowboys. Dalton Schulz was drafted 137 overall and he turned into a Pro Bowler. Jake Ferguson could realistically be “special” just as outside experts have said.

Exploring Simi Fehoko's exciting ceiling at WR. light. Must Read

He could be the Cowboys next big Day 3 steal for the Dallas Cowboys