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NFL Draft

Beyond The Clock: Cowboys Undrafted Wonder, Tony Romo

For our final undrafted wonder of the Beyond The Clock series, we pay tribute to one of the greatest players in NFL history to ever go undrafted. My personal favorite Dallas Cowboy, number 9, Tony Romo. Romo attended the 2003 NFL Combine and although he peaked some scout’s interests, he went undrafted. 13 quarterbacks were drafted in 2003. Four in the first round.



Cowboys Draft -  6

For our final undrafted wonder of the Beyond The Clock series, we pay tribute to one of the greatest players in NFL history to ever go undrafted. My personal favorite Dallas Cowboy, number 9, Tony Romo.

Romo attended the 2003 NFL Combine and although he peaked some scout’s interests, he went undrafted.

13 quarterbacks were drafted in 2003. Four in the first round.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 5.37.23 PMOn draft day, friends and family threw Tony Romo a draft party, with the expectation that he’d be drafted. The calls came only after the draft had ended and his friends and family had gone home.

The Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, and Miami Dolphins all called Romo at his home in Burlington, Wisconsin. After weighing his options, Romo decided to accept an offer to walk-on for the Dallas Cowboys.

He was third on the Cowboys’ depth chart entering 2003 training camp. In 2004, he was bumped down to fourth string, behind Quincy Carter, Vinny Testaverde and Drew Henson. It appeared as if his time as a Cowboy was dwindling and would soon be cut. If Quincy Carter, the first string QB at the time, had not been released for substance abuse, then Romo would likely have been playing for another team, or not playing at all.

Carter's departure moved Romo from number four to number three on the depth chart. From there, Romo climbed his way up. After three years of watching and learning from the sidelines, Romo eventually took over the first-string quarterback role from Drew Bledsoe during half-time against the New York Giants on October 23, 2006. His game stats in only his second NFL appearance were 14 completions on 25 attempts for 227 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.

The next game, under the national scrutiny of Sunday Night Football, Romo got his first NFL start against the Carolina Panthers. He threw for 270 yards in an easy 35 - 14 win.

From then on, there was little to no question, Tony Romo was QB1.Cowboys Draft - Beyond The Clock: Cowboys Undrafted Wonder, Tony RomoTony Romo is the first quarterback in NFL History to have over 200 touchdowns while under 100 interceptions. He also took the second fewest games in NFL History to get to 30,000 career yards. To date, in the History of the NFL, he has the third highest quarterback rating and the highest QBR in 4th quarters and overtime. In Dallas Cowboy history, he has the most game winning drives, the most fourth quarter comebacks, the most passing yards and the most touchdowns.

Romo is more than just a great quarterback, he is an inspiration to anyone who finds themselves face to face with adversity. Tony Romo is an affirmation that anything is possible, no matter how bleak the circumstances. Watch Romo on Sunday and you can see this in the literal sense.

Like the game against the Rams when the ball was snapped over his head and he picked it up and ran for the first down.

Cowboys Draft - 4There was the game when he broke his ribs and punctured a lung but still came back to beat the San Francisco 49ers in 2011.


Another example would be in 2012 when he evaded the Eagle's front and still completed the pass for a first down.

RomoVsEaglesOr the time when he spun off JJ Watt and threw a touchdown in the same play.


My favorite was when he dropped the ball, picked it up and threw the game winner to Jason Witten against the Giants in Week 1.


Tony Romo has the ability to make magic happen in the most unlikely situations. It's that kind of quality that embodies what it means to be a Cowboy.

Cowboys, the real kind, with horses, ten gallon hats and boots, have always been larger than life Americans. Cowboys are free from the constraints of modern life and whatever obstacles they face, they face it head on. Nothing can stop cowboys from getting where they're going because they live in a world with no fences, where skies are endless and the horizon is not a limit, but a destination to adventure. They start from nothing but are self made and the best of what we hope we are and want to be. They are inspirations. They're cowboys.

Going undrafted didn't stop Romo from being the face of America's Team. A broken rib and a punctured lung is not in his way of throwing a game winning pass. If Romo can complete a pass when the pocket collapses, if he can make a play after the ball is snapped over his head, if he can still throw the game winner to Jason Witten after dropping the ball, then I can get through whatever chaotic situation I'm faced with. And so can you.

If Tony Romo can teach us anything, if the Beyond The Clock series can teach us anything, it's that nothing is as it seems. Sure, the situation may look bleak but in the end, it will be okay. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

More so, just because a prospect isn't drafted, doesn't mean they can't go on to represent the most valuable and storied franchise in the NFL. Any undrafted rookie free agents the Cowboys sign after the draft could be the next Don Meredith, Don Perkins, Cliff Harris, Drew Pearson, Everson Walls, Nate Newton, Dan Bailey, Cole Beasley or even Tony Romo.

Tony Romo is more than an undrafted wonder - he is an undrafted inspiration, one of the greatest Dallas Cowboys to ever wear the star.

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!

  • Joe

    Great article.

    • Dante Giannetta

      Thank you Joe!

NFL Draft

Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys

Kevin Brady



2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

As the 2018 NFL Draft draws closer, teams are beginning to hold their official visits with prospects of their own choosing. The Cowboys have already met with a few different prospects thus far, and they've reportedly added a linebacker to that list this week.

Multiple reports are saying the Cowboys will meet with Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch this week, adding him to the list of 30 potential visits.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

BoiseState LB Leighton Vander Esch will be a pre-draft visitor for the #Cowboys. Add him to your list of 30, per Tony Pauline.

Vander Esch is a bit of a controversial prospect in the draft world. As I've stated before, he tested like a freak athletically, and his combine profile alone would put him in the discussion on day one. The problems I have with Vander Esch have nothing to do with his athleticism, however, and everything to do with his actual football-playing ability.

On film, I see a player who struggles to get off blocks and will have trouble finding a home with the Cowboys. Still, I wouldn't mind the Cowboys drafting Vander Esch - that pick cannot come in the first round though.

Vander Esch is a long, rangy, and athletic linebacker who is at his best playing laterally and tracking down plays. As a blitzer, Vander Esch has some rather clear issues. He often runs directly into blocks and is unable to shed at the point of attack. I also don't think he is as instinctual a player as some of the other linebackers in this class, such as BYU's Fred Warner or Alabama's Rashaan Evans.

The way things are looking, however, Vander Esch is going to be a first round pick. And if not, he'll almost certainly be a top 50 pick. I wouldn't be very comfortable taking him at 19, and I'd have to think twice before even taking him at 50 for that matter.

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NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott

Sean Martin



2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)

With more pressing needs on offense at guard and wide receiver, and defensively at DE or LB, the Cowboys' concerning lack of proven ability at safety has taken a backseat in this offseason's roster build. With the expectation that new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard will elevate the play of the entire Cowboys' secondary, the team is doing their due diligence on safeties available in the 2018 NFL Draft - starting with Texas' DeShon Elliott.

Josh Norris on Twitter

It appears Texas S DeShon Elliott is visiting the #Cowboys today

With 63 tackles and six interceptions in his final season at Texas, Elliott took full advantage of being a starter in the Big 12 for the first time in his career, flying onto the NFL Draft scene.

Elliott is a well-balanced, average athlete with the upside to be targeted late in April's draft and make a difference.

If they had to play a game tomorrow, the Cowboys would be rolling with Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier at safety.

Finding an expanded role this season for Frazier should be a priority in Dallas, as should supplementing Heath and Woods with additional talent. DeShon Elliott would fit this group well, along with the Cowboys' scheme, given his range and disruptive ability.

Should Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and now Byron Jones help the Cowboys reach their full potential at CB, the Cowboys safeties will not be tested in single coverage up the field often. This is an area that Elliott was exploited in at Texas plenty of times, performing better as a true free safety or second-level player.

Continuing to add young talent at the right price is key to the Cowboys' ongoing rebuild on defense, now visiting with a local safety prospect that should be available to them in the later rounds. Texas' DeShon Elliott is officially a name to consider come draft week in Dallas.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”

Kevin Brady



Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Last week, I detailed what the Cowboys tend to look for when drafting a wide receiver. In terms of a combine profile, Dallas clearly has a "type" of wide-out they like to target.

The Cowboys certainly need to upgrade their receiving corps, but with the plethora of other holes to fill, they may not be able to do so until the 3rd or 4th round. Luckily for the Cowboys, there is at least one receiver which both fits their profile and should be available early on day three.

That player is Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

Working on something for @InsideTheStarDC... here's the height, weight, 40 time, and 3 cone for every WR DAL has taken since 2010.

First, let's re-examine what the Cowboys like to look for. As you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys draft targets all seem to fit a similar profile. If we treat Dez Bryant as their "ideal" draft pick, the trends become even clearer. Dallas wants to find a wide-out who is about 6'1" 205 pounds, runs nearly a 4.5 40 yard dash, and about a 6.9 three come time.

DeaSean Hamilton, coincidentally, is 6'1" 203 pounds, ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at the Penn State pro day, and ran a 6.84 three cone at the combine. Penn State's all time receptions leader stole the show at the 2018 Senior Bowl, putting all of "Draft Twitter" on notice to his talent.

An efficient and smooth route runner, Hamilton looks natural coming in and out of breaks, creating separation with his precise routes. The Cowboys don't have many receivers on their roster who can win with their route running, and adding a player like Hamilton would greatly help third year quarterback Dak Prescott moving forward.

With the ability to play in the slot, as well as potentially being a Z receiver for the Cowboys and a replacement for Terrance Williams, Hamilton would be an excellent draft target in the third or fourth round. And, keeping in mind how nicely he fits their typical draft profile, I'd expect Dallas to target Hamilton during the 2018 NFL Draft.

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