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Role Call: Durden's Path from Baseball, D-2 to NFL


(Editor's Note: With the offseason program in the rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead. As part of the preparation for training camp, this series will introduce 25 key players who are new to the Cowboys' roster, rookies and veterans alike. We'll continue with undrafted wide receiver David Durden.)

How He Got Here: Certainly not the usual route to the NFL, but Durden's journey included stops at Mercer and Wst Florida playing football, along with a season of minor league baseball. What he brings to the table is a sure-handed receiver that caught 88 passes for nearly 2,000 yards in his two seasons at West Florida, a Division II school. Durden also tied the school record with 23 touchdowns in those two seasons.

What's Next: Like all undrafted free agents, Durden will have his work cut out for him, just to make the practice squad and especially the 53-man roster. But one of the best ways to do that is to have a presence on special teams. He does have some kick-return experience but he's going to have to show the willingness and ability to cover kicks as well. As a receiver, it's a stacked group of not only experienced vets such as Lamb, Cooks and Gallup at the top, but a large group of hungry receivers behind them looking for spots such as Tolbert, Fehoko, Turpin and Houston, not to mention the four other rookie receivers along with Durden. But camp is long and the preseason games tend to matter as well. If he can make plays on a consistent basis, that's how you work up the depth chart.

Bet You Didn't Know: Durden was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2017 and spent one season in the minor leagues, playing in the Florida Complex League. He played 30 games, battled .220 with nine RBIs and a .311 on-base percentage.

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