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NFL Draft

Beyond The Clock: Cowboys Undrafted Wonder, Don Meredith



Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Beyond the Clock: Undrafted Wonder Don Meredith

Welcome to Beyond the Clock! In between Sean Martin’s Cowboys On The Clock we will be analyzing the great Cowboy players that were not drafted.

Who better to start with than one of the first great Cowboys, Don Meredith? Instead of being drafted, Don Meredith signed a personal services contract on November 28, 1959, to play for a proposed NFL team that had no name, no coach and no other players.

It wasn’t until January 28, 1960, that the new team was approved and the NFL was officially coming to Dallas. The Dallas Cowboys - er, the Dallas Rangers, at that time - were born into existence. Clint Murchison, the team’s founder and owner at the time, made the decision to change the name to the Cowboys in March of 1960.

Unfortunately for Dallas, the city was granted a team after the draft had occurred. The only way for the Cowboys to acquire players to form the first team was to pick from other team’s rosters. Each of the then 12 NFL teams could protect 25 of its 36 players, with Dallas selecting three from every club. Essentially the Cowboys were getting every team’s worst players. They were getting the leftovers.

Out of the mayhem of building a roster without the help of the NFL draft, the Cowboys managed to pick up one particular quarterback’s personal services contract. It was some guy out of Southern Methodist University named Don Meredith.

“Dandy” Don Meredith was a two-time All-American at SMU where he broke all of SMU's passing records. Throughout his nine-year career with the Cowboys, Meredith was one of the Cowboys' most recognizable stars. His humor and outgoing style epitomized the city he played for. Teammates remembered Meredith as the guy who sang in huddles, shot mid-70s in golf, and read Hemingway.

Aside from being the funny guy on the team, Meredith was regarded as one of the toughest. He was often the recipient of many physical beatings years before the league showed any interest in protecting the quarterback. It’s rumored that Don Meredith broke his nose 26 times and never took himself out of the game.

Meredith was also a great quarterback. During the 1966 season, the Cowboys' first winning season in franchise history (10-3-1), Meredith was named NFL Player of the Year, throwing a career-high 24 touchdown passes that season. He also was one of nine Dallas players named to the Pro Bowl that year, his first of two career Pro Bowl selections. Meredith is still one of only three Cowboys quarterbacks (alongside Roger Staubach and Danny White) to have thrown for at least 300 yards in three games during a single season. He still holds the record for the longest pass completion in franchise history, a 95-yard touchdown pass to “The Bullet” Bob Hayes on November 11, 1966.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Beyond the Clock: Undrafted Wonder Don Meredith 1He unexpectedly retired before the 1969 season and eventually would go on to a prosperous TV career as an analyst on Monday Night Football.

Although many critics overlooked his career because of his 1-3 playoff record, out of 104 total games, he finished his career with 17,199 yards, 135 touchdowns and a 48-33-4 record.

His lasting legacy will be that of leading his team to three straight division championships and two consecutive NFL Championship games following the 1966 and 1967 seasons, losing both times, though, to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.

In 1976, Meredith joined former Cowboys running back Don Perkins as the second and third members of the Ring of Honor.

He was the first face of the franchise, the local kid from Mount Vernon, Texas, a SMU great, an Undrafted Wonder, and a great Dallas Cowboy.

I was born and raised in New York state's Hudson Valley and now attend school in New Jersey. Although I live in Montclair, my heart will always have a soft spot for Dallas, Texas. As an intern for Inside the Star, I now have a legitimate reason for the Cowboys to consume my life. Before, I was just a Cowboy fan with no life ... and very concerned parents. When I'm not writing about the Cowboys, I enjoy reading, seeing plays, creative writing, watching TV, and making my friends and family laugh. Follow me on Twitter, so we can connect on all topics related to America's Team. How 'bout em!

  • Mr. Bamboozaul

    Turn Off The Lights The Party Over. Been a Cowboys fan since 1966. Bob Hayes met him in person @ the Los Angeles Colesieum, back in the day, when fans could run on the field after a pre season game against the Rams. I was 14 yrs. Old. Fell in love with seeing D. Meredith throw the deep route to the Bullet. Also the flashy Blue Jersey with the sliver pants and the offensive line doing the Landry hitch and original.

  • RJ Ochoa

    I was at the last game ever at Texas Stadium and they literally turned out the lights while playing Dandy Don singing it. It was incredible.

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

NFL Draft

Can Powers of Persuasion Help Make Will Hernandez a Cowboy?

Brian Martin



Can Powers of Persuasion Make Will Hernandez a Dallas Cowboy?

There is no shortage of NFL hopefuls who would like to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft. But, not one of them have used their powers of persuasion to make their intentions known as much as former UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez.

Throughout the entire draft process, Will Hernandez has done nothing but stand out when given the opportunity. He first started to make waves at the 2018 Senior Bowl, where he pretty much dominated his competition. Then, he improved his draft stock even more by putting on a show at the Scouting Combine.

The 6'2", 330 pound offensive guard has likely cemented himself as a surefire first-round draft pick and is arguably the second-ranked OG in the entire 2018 draft class. He is a plug-and-play prospect for any team who drafts him, but he has made his intentions well known that he would love to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

Back in February, Will Hernandez was spotted hanging out with the Cowboys bookend offensive tackles, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, to see the premiere of the movie Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis.

Will Hernandez on Twitter

@PujolsFive Cowboys fans will appreciate this post!! ⭐️ Movie Premiere #Deathwish Great movie!

To see Will Hernandez rubbing elbows with a few of the Dallas Cowboys talented offensive lineman only strengthened the connection for Hernandez becoming a draft pick by America's Team. But, this wasn't the only time the former UTEP offensive guard was seen out with a Cowboys player.

In March, he was once again seen out on the town with the Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith.

Will Hernandez on Twitter

Huge blessing being surrounded by players like this 👊🏽👊🏽

All of this can probably be chalked up to a current player hanging out with an NFL hopeful, but as a Cowboys fan you want to believe it's more than just a coincidence.

The Dallas Cowboys without a doubt need a new starting left guard. It can be argued it's the team's biggest need this offseason and Will Hernandez fits the bill to a T. He would immediately upgrade the entire offensive line and solidify the unit for years to come.

The only problem is, the Dallas Cowboys have already invested quite a bit in their offensive line and taking Will Hernandez in the first round would be considered by some as overkill. I for one wouldn't be opposed to taking him at 19 if he is the top rated player when the Cowboys are on the clock.

It's hard to know if seeing Will Hernandez hanging out with Tyron Smith and La'el Collins improves his chances of being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but it definitely doesn't hurt. Offensive lines around the NFL perform at their best when they play as a cohesive unit, so developing a bond already could be viewed as a good thing.

Who knows, maybe Will Hernandez's powers of persuasion will pay off and end up being the deciding factor to help him become the next first-round offensive lineman drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you read anything into Will Hernandez hanging out with Cowboys players?

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NFL Draft

Keeping Dez Bryant Shouldn’t Stop Cowboys From Drafting Calvin Ridley

Mauricio Rodriguez



Butch Dill / Getty Images

With NFL Free Agency buzz at full speed this week, Dez Bryant is one of the most intriguing names in the Dallas Cowboys world. We all know the story. We've been talking about it since last season. Bryant, who was once among the "Top WR of the league" conversation, doesn't look like an elite player anymore.

That doesn't mean he is a bad football player, but the problem is that he's getting paid big time.

The Dallas Cowboys, who have struggled with cap space for many years now, may want to avoid paying $16.5M to a player who isn't justifying his paychecks on the field. Big name and all, it certainly doesn't feel that way.

His lack of production on the field the last three years is concerning, even though he's played with quarterbacks not named "Tony Romo." There are other receivers around the league who have played with bad quarterbacks and have still been able to produce.

Even still, it wouldn't be easy to replace Bryant on the offense just like that. Right now, top free agents are already off the market, so if Dallas wants to replace him, it'd have to be via trade or via the NFL Draft.

Jane Slater on Twitter

ICYMI: A few things to consider as we wait on news about Dez Bryant's future with the Dallas Cowboys

Right now, it seems that Dez is going to remain a Dallas Cowboy and after seeing the contracts other receivers in the league are about to get, who knows if a pay cut will even enter the equation.

Even if Dez keeps wearing the Star every week next season, wide receiver is still one of the team's top needs. Despite the fact that Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten are some very well-known names, the truth is this offense needs a guy who can create separation and be harmful as a deep threat.

This is a draft class with a lot of depth at wide receiver, and the Cowboys could find contributors at the second or later rounds. Even still, if they're on the clock at 19 and Alabama's Calvin Ridley is available, the front office should pull the trigger.

Yes, even if Dez is still on the team.

Despite last year's struggles, we shouldn't lose faith on the Cowboys' offense when it has a lot of talent. We believed in this group to take us to the Super Bowl. What they are missing could just be a new, dynamic wide receiver.

Dallas Cowboys Reportedly Set to Meet with Alabama WR Calvin Ridley 1

Alabama Crimson Tide WR Calvin Ridley (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

Calvin Ridley is by far the best WR in the Draft this year and will be an impact player anywhere he goes. Despite a poor showing in the Combine, Ridley proves to be worthy of a first round pick on tape. Ideal route-running, great ability to separate and more than enough speed for the NFL.

This would certainly take a lot of pressure off Cole Beasley's shoulders, who was constantly double-teamed last year. Sure, he's still good, but if he continues to run into double-coverage, Dak Prescott and company will probably continue to struggle another year.

It's tough to imagine Calvin Ridley being available at 19, especially with the Baltimore Ravens holding the 16th overall pick. However, some people believe there's a 50/50 chance he's available once Dallas is on the clock. If that's the case, the Cowboys shouldn't pass on this prospect.

Ridley could very well end up being the most productive receiver for the Cowboys in 2018 becoming an essential "best friend" for Dak Prescott.

We've seen how other front offices have made friendly offenses for their young QBs and if Calvin Ridley is what it takes, why even think about it?

Tell me what you think about "Keeping Dez Bryant Shouldn’t Stop Cowboys From Drafting Calvin Ridley" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: What Cowboys Look For In LBs

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Draft Target: BYU LB Fred Warner

As we continue to move through the Cowboys' positions of need and construct their overall draft board, we now take a look at what Dallas tends to look for in linebackers.

The Cowboys have some real questions to answer within their linebacker corps this offseason. Sean Lee is an obvious stud, but his injury history makes him a bit unreliable. Jaylon Smith began to come along later in the season, but how much better will he be in 2018? And then, of course, there is the impending free agency of Anthony Hitchens the team must deal with.

The Cowboys will certainly be looking at this somewhat-deep linebacker class in the upcoming draft, and after reviewing what their "type" has been in the past, a few prospects stood above the rest.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

And here it is for LB. Better set of training data so should be more predictive of future picks. LVE is a freak athletically.

For starters, Virginia Tech's Tremaine Edmunds must have been built in a lab. At 6'4" 253 pounds he is much bigger and stronger than the typical Cowboys linebacker, but his athletic testing all exceed the normal thresholds as well. He is significantly faster and more athletic than the typical Dallas draft pick, and would be an excellent candidate with the 19th overall pick. Unfortunately, I don't anticipate him being their for the taking.

Iowa's Josey Jewell is an interesting prospect to evaluate. A rather reliable player on film, Jewell also passes each of the athletic thresholds set by Dallas in previous years. Well, besides his 40 time, which is nearly a full second slower than their average selection. Still, considering his tape, short shuttle, 3 cone, and broad jump, I expect him to be a potential target for the Cowboys on day two.

The 2 linebackers which fit the Cowboys' plan best, however, are BYU's Fred Warner and Boise State's Leighton Vander Esch.

As seen on the spreadsheet, Vander Esch is a certified freak by Cowboys' standards. He greatly exceeds each of Dallas' athletic markers, and does it all at 6'4" and over 250 pounds. Like I said, he's an athletic freak in the eyes of the Cowboys.

Warner is just below the average weight in previous years (by only 2 pounds), but he is much more athletic than players we've seen the Cowboys draft since 2011. He is converting from more of an EDGE-type role in college to being a full time off-ball linebacker, and so far he has looked comfortable doing so at the Senior Bowl and Combine.

Considering the struggles the Cowboys have had on defense as of late, finding these younger and faster players should be a priority. And, as indicated by the testing of their previous draft classes, the Cowboys should be able to upgrade on that athleticism during the 2018 NFL Draft.

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