Non-Cowboys free agents: From most likely to least likely to make the team

The Cowboys have an impressive history when it comes to finding success with non-designated free agents. Players like Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris, Cornell Green, Everson Walls, and Mark Tuinei were signed by Dallas after they went undrafted. Same for the newer high profile players like Tony Romo and Miles Austin.

Cole Beasley, Ron Leary, Dan Bailey, and Barry Church were all incredible players who became good contributors to the Cowboys.

Over the past decade, Dallas has signed RT Terence Steele, WR Jalen Guyton, CB Charvarius Ward, QB Cooper Rush, TE Blake Jarwin, DE Efe Obada, and S Jeff Heath after the draft.

Peyton Hendershot, safety Marquis Bell and wide receiver Dennis Houston made the 53-man draft roster last season after going undrafted. Malik Davis was the fourth running back for Dallas last season with 161 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries. He also went undrafted last year.

With all of that in mind, the Cowboys have accepted 13 players since the draft concluded Saturday night. A few might find their way onto this year’s 53-man roster, so let’s take a look at the collection.

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Below is the list, in order of least likely team.

TJ Bass, OG, Oregon. Dane Brugler expected the Bass to go 6-4, 317 pounds in the fifth or sixth round, which would have ranked him 14th among bouncers in this category. He played left guard and left tackle for the past three seasons with the Ducks.

Brugler wrote in The Beast: “He has the thickness and physical strength behind his well-placed punches required for inside work. Overall, Bass doesn’t have the top-level reactive athleticism to easily face blocks and keep them in the middle, but he gives the best of himself because of his heavy hands and desire to finish.”

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Hunter Lubeck, FB, North Dakota State. The Cowboys have never really used a true roster linebacker under Mike McCarthy. Jamize Olawale was the latter and that was in 2019, Jason Garrett’s final season. Nick Ralston was on the list for four games in 2021 but only played one offensive tackle. The role has been filled largely by offensive linemen, such as Connor McGovern, and tight ends, such as Blake Bell. Brugler has Luepke 21st among running backs in the category with a row six going into the seventh.

“Lupke was a college running back who best performs as a hybrid defender with H-back traits for pass-catching,” Brugler wrote of the 6-1, 230-pound running back. “He needs to find an NFL offense willing to take advantage of his skill set but who can help his chances by starring in special teams coverage.”

Isaiah Land, LB, Florida A&M. It will be interesting to see where the Cowboys line up. Earth has been the rim leader in college, totaling 26 and a half sacks over the past two seasons. But at 6-3, 236, he’s thought of as more of an NFL linebacker. Brugler ranked him the 18th-ranked linebacker this season with the sixth-grade draft pick.

“The Earth needs to continue strengthening his body to get stronger going into seventh play in the NFL,” Brugler wrote, “but he has the athleticism to hold up in space and the rushing skills to chase down the quarterback on the sub-points.” “A person with high level development expectations with a ‘buy low equity’ has the potential to thrive for a team willing to invest.”

Tyrus Wheat, DE, Mississippi. This is the highest rated player by Brugler added by the Cowboys after the draft. He earned a fourth grade in the wheat, placing 19th among all running runners. Drafted by Dallas in the fourth round, Filiami Fiocco is ranked 24th among rushing rushers. In 34 games with the Bulldogs, Wheat totaled 18 1/2 sacks and 27 tackles for a loss.

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“Wheat isn’t elite height or explosiveness, but he’s a physical player who outshines seven athletes who’ll talk about different schemes,” Brugler wrote of the 6-3, 263-pound Wheat. “With his versatile skill set and movement, his best performance in the NFL is standing as an outside linebacker in a base 3-4.”

Wheat Photos (Thomas Shea / USA Today)

Earl Bostic Jr., OT, Kansas. He will probably have to overtake Asim Richards to make the list. The Cowboys drafted Richards in the fifth round. Bruegler ranked Richards the 14th best tackle in the class. He had Bostick ranked 17th with a sixth grade of seven. Over the past two seasons, Bostick has started 25 games, all at left tackle.

“Bostick moves with the sliding speed and athletic body control expected of a former tight end, but his power play and timing are not currently at the NFL level, especially in the running game,” Bruegler wrote. “He has the development tools that will give an NFL team optimism.”

Dorel Johnson, D, Liberty. The 6-3, 250-pound Johnson was a Cowboys pre-draft visitor, so this addition comes as no surprise. He was not expected to be drafted. He had nine sacks and 27 1/2 tackles for loss last season.

Miles Brooks, CB, Louisiana Tech. Brugler had a score of six in the seventh on it, ranking 32nd among all players. Eric Scott Jr., drafted by the Cowboys after hitting first in the sixth round, ranked 60th among all-around cornerbacks. Scott is slightly taller with longer arms. Brooks has had seven interceptions and 22 passes defended in 24 games over the past two seasons.

Jalen Moreno Cropper, WR, Fresno State. He is the highest rated (31st, according to Bruegler) of the four wide receivers on this list. At 5-11, 172, he stands out as an NFL slot wide receiver. It will probably be difficult for any of these wide receivers to win this final roster spot over some of the other bubble wide receivers like Houston, Semi Fiocco, Dontario Drummond and Galen Brooks in the seventh round.

David Durden, WR, West Florida. He was No. 33 on Brugler’s list of wide receivers in this category. “Durden will need to prove that he can compete with the NFL’s speed and power, but he has the athleticism and instincts (as a receiver and ball carrier) to earn a spot on the NFL’s roster of camp,” Brugler wrote. “His value on special teams (as a running back and defender) can give the advantage.”

Princeton Fant, TE, Tennessee. Brugler’s 28th-ranked tight end is undersized, but he scored nine touchdowns last season. “The fantasy lacks strength and technique as a blocker,” Bruegler wrote of Seahawks TE Noah Fant’s cousin, “but his athletic rise as a usefulness running back and special team player will be his ticket into NFL camp.”

D’Angelo Mandell, CB, BYU. The 6-2, 189-pound Mandel played in 53 games during his college career, breaking up four passes and no interceptions.

Jose Barbon, WR, Temple. He caught 72 passes for 918 yards and two touchdowns last season. The 5-10, 182-pound Barbon has a record of 4.47 in the 40-yard dash.

John Stevens Jr., WR, Louisiana. He has excellent size at 6-5, 232 pounds, which makes the transition to tight end bearable. He caught 14 passes last season for 284 yards and three touchdowns.

(Top photo by Hunter Luepke: Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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