Defensive End Dorance Armstrong was drafted in 2018 by the Dallas Cowboys. Armstrong has been a name that a lot of Cowboy fans have heard, but may not know much about him. He has come a long way in his career with bumps and obstacles in his way. Here's how the defensive lineman's life has been throughout the years.
Armstrong was born on June 10, 1997, in Houston Texas. He attended North Shore Senior High School located in Cloverleaf Texas. Dorance would play defensive end there and during his junior year, he would receive second-team All-District. As a senior, he improved to being called a first-team All-district honors.
Football wasn't the only sport Armstrong played in high school, as he also played basketball. While not too much information is on Dorance during his early years, it's good to say he did well at his defensive position, because he would later obtain a scholarship from the University of Kansas.
This was his first step to success as a football player. However, even with this huge opportunity, some problems would occur. Armstrong always wanted to play in the NFL, but the Kansas Jayhawks weren't a team that produced highly talented football players. So if Dorance wanted to achieve his goal, he would have to stick out like a sore thumb to NFL prospectors.
During his freshman year in 2015, Armstrong appeared in every game and had relatively good stats for a freshman. he recorded 23 tackles with five tackles for losses. He also had 3.5 sacks on the year. This season was a great start, but Armstrong still needed to pick things up, because the Jayhawks would finish their season with a 0-12 record.
That kind of record isn't going to get any recruiters to attend your games. That poor record would improve… sort of, the following year. The next season during Armstrong's sophomore year, Dorance would increase his total tackles to 56 on the year. He also had 20 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks.
Those stats would help Armstrong a whole lot, as he was second in the conference with his 10 sacks, the most by a school player since 2008. Not even mentioning his three forced fumbles as well. With a 2-10 record with a signature win over the University of Texas, Armstrong was feeling a bit more confident about things now and felt like his chance of becoming an NFL star was more likely now.
In his Junior year, Armstrong declined a little bit on the stat pole in some areas, but grow in others. He had 63 tackles and 9 tackles for losses. He also had three more forced fumbles and two sacks. As the Jayhawks finished the year with a 1-11 record, Dorance felt like he had enough. Armstrong entered the 2018 NFL Draft and waived his senior year.
This was a huge risk as it would be unlikely that any team would take him, but Dorance knew he had to try. As he waited through each round went by, Dorance didn't hear his name at all, until the fourth round.
Armstrong was selected by the Cowboys in the 4th round. While Armstrong was immeasurably happy, he knew that he wasn't the best on the team. He would need lots more practice and skill to become a starter.
During 2018, Armstrong played a couple of games and recorded a couple of sacks and tackles. This would get the Cowboy staff talking about whether or not he was qualified to become a starter. In 2019, Armstrong had 16 tackles, 2 sacks, and 9 quarterback pressure.
While 2020 was an off year for Armstrong, he still had 33 tackles and one tackle for a loss. It wasn't looking too great for Armstrong and he feared that Dallas would cut him from their team, until on March 17, 2022, Armstrong signed a two-year contract. This would secure his place with the team and give him the reassurance he needed.
With Armstrong's amazing performance thus far in the 2022 NFL season, many can assume that he will be with the team for quite some time. Dorance's story has a valuable lesson in it. Even if the chances are slim, try. Armstrong didn't have a good chance of going to the NFL yet he entered the Draft and tried his best.