Dallas Cowboys Player to Watch: Sleeper TE John Stephens, Jr.

. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the most successful teams in the NFL in identifying late-round talent and undrafted players.

Malik Davis, Rico Dowdle, and Cooper Rush make up players who’ve been on the roster in the past that were undrafted free agents.

Players like Hunter Luepke out of North Dakota State this offseason has received much attention—Ditto for Isaiah Land from Florida A&M.

One individual earning praise from the media is a player from my alma mater.

John Stephens, Jr. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is an exciting prospect.

He is a 6’5″, 236lb former wide receiver who played sparingly for Texas Christian University before transferring to “Da Boot.”

His stats (27 receptions and seven touchdowns) in two seasons with UL Lafayette lack eye-popping ability. However, fans should note 20.3 yards per catch in his final season.

Not to mention, he did not enter the draft process with much fame and buzz.

Luckily for the Dallas Cowboys, you may have landed on a diamond in the rough.

There’s still some work to do on route running and understanding the complexities of an NFL offense, but that’s what the practice squad is for.

Despite that, the kid can run. At his pro day in Louisiana, reports show that he ran a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash.

I’ll take that any day of the week for a player developing into a new role.

Currently, the Dallas Cowboys tight end room consists of Jake Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot, Luke Schoonmaker, and Sean McKeon.

Unless something unexpected happens, Stephens will have little room to get anywhere near a roster spot.

Despite the lack of room on the active roster, the practice squad is a nice landing spot for someone like him or Princeton Fant.

This team needs more players who can stretch the middle of the field. So much attention has been placed on a tight end’s blocking abilities.

While that skill is essential, George Kittle, Travis Kelce, and Mark Andrews have proven that blocking is secondary to getting downfield.

Before you grab your torch and pitchforks, no one says John Stephens’ ability is on par with those guys. I’m keeping this in the context of a practice squad player who may develop into something at a minimal expense to Dallas.

Next. The Cowboys are following the Tyrone Crawford blueprint for these DLs. dark

Keep your eye on this player. His raw talent with the right coach in Lunda Wells could be a unique combination.

He could be one to watch in the preseason.

  • Published on 06/22/2023 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 06/22/2023 at 11:01 AM