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Mailbag: Cowboys Rookie Free Agents To Watch?

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From all the undrafted rookie free agents who have agreed to terms, who do you think has a realistic shot at making the club? — ALLAN HICKMAN / ROCKWALL, TX

Rob: Kicker Jonathan Garibay is the obvious pick because that job is wide open. Center Alec Lindstrom and safety Markquese Bell are getting a lot of buzz in this 20-player group. Both were very productive in college. I really liked what Aaron Hansford brought to Texas A&M's defense, and they could stand to add more linebacker depth, especially with fifth-round pick Damone Clark recovering from spinal fusion surgery.

David: I'm with Rob that the obvious answer is Garibay. And he also mentioned another of my favorite names, Alec Lindstrom. The guy started 37 games in college and was named first-team All-ACC twice. My buddy Dane Brugler gave him a sixth-round grade coming out, so I'm a bit surprised he wasn't drafted. Tyler Biadasz is the only true center on this roster, as Matt Farniok and Connor McGovern both split time at guard. Maybe Lindstrom's experience at the position can give him a leg up?

What do you think of the Cowboys heavily weighing Senior Bowl performances when evaluating and drafting players? — MARK MUMFORD / WILMINGTON, DE

Rob: I'm not sure I'd read too much into that. Not saying it's a total coincidence, because they do value the Senior Bowl process and some of their best picks in recent years (Zack Martin, Dak Prescott) played in Mobile. I just think this was an extra-good class of seniors because of the extra eligibility year that players received due to the pandemic.

David: This has been a preference of theirs for most of the time that Will McClay has overseen the draft process. The list is pretty long — from superstars like Dak and Zack, to starters like Jourdan Lewis and Michael Gallup, to quality role players like Tony Pollard and Osa Odighizuwa. It's almost a guarantee that they'll draft one or two Senior Bowl guys a year, if not more. I think Rob is correct that the size of the senior class played a role. But Will and his guys also place a ton of value on that week of practices. It speaks volumes when you're able to compete against the best of the best and excel in those type of situations.

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