The Dallas Cowboys have signed 20 undrafted free agents since the NFL Draft concluded on April 30. It’s a strong group, including seven players in Pro Football Focus’ top 100 undrafted free agent list.
The Cowboys have a long history of turning undrafted free agents into stars, including Hall of Fame wide receiver Drew Pearson, three-time First-team All-Pro cornerback Everson Walls, four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo and two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Miles Austin. There may be a chance to find another star like those four with this group.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the best undrafted free agents Dallas signed:
Florida A&M S Markquese Bell
Bell could’ve easily been drafted. Instead, he arrives in Dallas as one of the Cowboys’ marquee UDFA signings. Dallas beat out several teams for his signature, including their division rival Philadelphia Eagles.
The former Florida A&M Rattler signed a hefty contract with a $15,000 signing bonus and a guaranteed $200,000. Bell was one of the prospects that attended Dallas’ “30 visits”, where 30 prospects met with the Cowboys before the draft. Last season, Bell earned First-team All-SWAC honors after recording 95 tackles, 71 of which were solo tackles.
He’s a hard-hitting safety who thrives as a run defender. Bell comes downhill with explosiveness, and his ball-tracking skills are just as good. With Dallas needing safety depth after Damontae Kazee’s departure, Bell could be a candidate to make the 53-man roster.
Every time I watch #FAMU Safety Markquese Bell play, I’m blown away with his instincts, range and closing burst. Phenomenal angle and attack on the ball on the first play on the deep post, and gets to mesh point in a hurry on second play.
Easily of my favorite 2022 prospects. pic.twitter.com/gkxheEQfkk
Indiana WR Ty Fryfogle
Fryfogle spent five seasons at Indiana, catching 158 passes for 2,231 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2020, he was the Big Ten Receiver of the Year.
In that 2020 season, Fryfogle caught 37 passes for 721 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s a contested-catch machine, hauling in Big Ten second-best 32 such catches at Indiana. Fryfogle will likely compete for a practice squad spot and potentially a spot on the 53-man roster if Michael Gallup starts the season on the injured reserve.
Texas Tech K Jonathan Garibay
After not drafting a kicker, the Cowboys scooped up Garibay from the UDFA Pool. He has a chance to be Dallas’ week one kicker and will compete with Chris Naggar for that spot.
Garibay earned First-team All-Big 12 honors last season after converting 15 of his 16 field goal attempts and 49 of his 50 extra-point attempts. He converted two game-winning field goals for the Red Raiders in 2021, including a 62-yarder to defeat Iowa State.
The Cowboys are signing undrafted rookie free agent kicker Jonathan Garibay
I’d make him the favorite for the starting kicker position, so expect to hear Garibay’s name a lot in 2022.
Boston College OL Alec Lindstrom
Lindstrom, the brother of Atlanta Falcons’ guard Chris Lindstrom, made three All-ACC teams at Boston College. He is one of two centers to sign UDFA deals with the Cowboys, the other being BYU’s James Empey.
Last season, Lindstrom earned a 73.4 overall grade and 84.6 pass-blocking from PFF, giving up just one sack. At 293 pounds, he’s a little undersized but makes up for it with awareness and athletic ability. With Dallas lacking a clear-cut backup center, there’s a strong chance that Lindstrom makes the 53-man roster.
Physical win for Alec Lindstrom. Been a stalwart for Boston College. pic.twitter.com/IOmLbkaAZU
Ole Miss WR Dontario Drummond
Drummond burst onto the scene last season, catching 76 passes for 1,026 yards and eight touchdowns. The signing reunites him with his Ole Miss teammate and Dallas’ second-round draft pick, edge rusher De Williams.
Drummond’s size and strength allow him to be an excellent blocker and a hard man to bring down. Coming from a pass-heavy offense at Ole Miss, he shouldn’t have difficulty adjusting to another pass-heavy offense in Dallas. Like Fryfogle, he'll also compete for a spot on the practice squad.
Texas A&M LB Aaron Hansford
Hansford originally agreed to a UDFA deal with the rival Washington Commanders before signing with the Cowboys. Last season, he led Texas A&M with 89 tackles and was one of the leaders of a defense that finished third nationally in points allowed with 14.8.
Hansford possesses good athleticism, physicality and hand leverage, doing his best work between the tackles. He’s got a solid frame at 239 pounds and could grab a practice squad spot thanks to Dallas’ thin depth at linebacker.
UCF EDGE Big Kat Bryant
Markaviest “Big Kat” Bryant earned First-team All-AAC honors for UCF last season after recording six sacks and 13 tackles for loss. He’s one of two defensive linemen signed by Dallas as UDFAs, the other being Utah’s Mike Tafua.
Bryant spent four years at Auburn before transferring to UCF, logging 16 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss in his five-year college career. He’ll need much development to make the team but exhibits quality physical tools and traits.
Georgia Tech S Juanyeh Thomas
Thomas has been a critical member of Georgia Tech’s defense for the last three seasons. In 2021, he recorded a career-high 81 tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles.
Like Bell, Thomas is a strong safety that plays his best near the line of scrimmage. He’s got the size to guard bigger tight ends and wide receivers and plays efficiently and polished. Thomas can also contribute on special teams, increasing his chance of earning a roster spot.
USC CB Issac Taylor-Stuart
Taylor-Stuart started three seasons at USC, finishing his college career with 80 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups.
He has excellent length for the cornerback position and has the speed and agility to stay on top of receivers. He showed off that speed at the NFL Scouting Combine, running the 40-yard dash at 4.42 seconds.
Really like what I’ve seen from Issac Taylor-Stuart today at USC’s pro day this morning. Posted the best times in both the 40 and shuttle and has looked really sharp in DB workouts. Could be a real steal for someone.
Harvard RB Aaron Shampklin
Shampklin recorded 842 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns last season for Harvard. He made two First-team Ivy League teams in four seasons with the Crimson.
It may be challenging for Shampklin to make the team in a crowded running back room. However, his vision, patience and pass-catching ability could give him a chance.
Sheesh… Aaron Shampklin with another big-time TD run! The score puts us up on Georgetown, 30-9.