(Editor's Note: Over the next month, the staff of DallasCowboys.com is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into 2021. Today, we'll turn our attention to this year's crop of undrafted players)
FRISCO, Texas – At this point, no one needs to be reminded of the Cowboys' success rate in undrafted free agency.
From Drew Pearson to Everson Walls to Tony Romo, some of the best players in franchise history have come from the ranks of the undrafted. In recent years, unheralded names like Miles Austin and Cole Beasley have risen to prominence after making the roster as undrafted free agents. Even last year's roster leaned heavily on undrafted players, as Rico Dowdle, Sean McKeon and Terence Steele all made the 53-man roster coming out of training camp.
With all that in mind, it begs the question: who might be next in 2021?
19) Name An Undrafted Free Agent To Watch?
Rob Phillips: How about Brandon Smith out of Iowa? Sure, wide receiver is probably the deepest position on the roster. We know the top three spots are set, and I think it'll be tough to take a job from Cedrick Wilson or Noah Brown. Both earned spots in the rotation last year and both are effective on special teams. But the Cowboys did like Smith coming into the draft. He didn't have huge production at Iowa, but he's talented and has good size for the position (6-foot-3). Smith had a touchdown catch from Ben DiNucci in the final minicamp practice. Someone to watch in preseason.
Mickey Spagnola: With the number of veteran free agents the Cowboys have signed, along with 11 draft choices, there might not be much room at the inn for any of the 13 undrafted rookie free agents to make this final 53-man roster. Realistically, getting the majority of these guys on the practice squad might be the best the Cowboys can hope for. But if one of these rookies caught my eye, it was safety Tyler Coyle of Purdue, 6-0, 209. Nice size for a safety, and sure appears to have good range. He first stood out in the rookie minicamp, always seemingly around the ball. Then, as the vets showed up for OTAs and the mandatory minicamp, the safety field began to get crowded, especially since the Cowboys decided to move sixth-round pick Israel Mukuamu from corner to safety. A graduate transfer from UConn to Purdue, Coyle unfortunately played a shortened Big 10 season. But his 4.36 Pro Day 40 sure caught the Cowboys' eyes, and his best chance to make the 53-man roster will be with special teams skills.
Kyle Youmans: The more talented individuals in the batch of undrafted free agents are definitely at the receiver position and on the defensive line. However, as two of the more talent-heavy spots on the roster, it leads me to believe it would be tough for an undrafted rookie to make the cut at those positions by the end of the offseason. That's why I'm looking at Tyler Coyle (Purdue) to turn some heads as an ultra-athletic safety that could really improve the play speed on a defense that has lacked such a thing lately. A former track star and four-year collegiate starter, Coyle could add depth to a thin safety position while also playing a significant role on special teams.