(Editor's Note: 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. The series continues today with rookie center James Empey.)
How He Got Here: Empey was rated the No. 11 overall player in Utah by Rivals.com coming out of American Fork High School as two-way starter while fielding offers from Washington, Washington State, Oregon State and Utah. He ultimately chose the Cougars, playing 41 total games across four seasons and earned PFF honors as the No.1 freshman center in the country in 2018. Empey also anchored an offensive that was named a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award in the COVID shortened 2020 season for a top ranked BYU offense. Dallas eventually picked him up as a UDFA after this year's draft.
What's Next: Offensive line has been the main source of the question marks for the Cowboys this offseason. Outside of Tyler Biadasz, the center position remains relatively thin as the team gears up for training camp in Oxnard, Calf. Barring a last-minute free agent signing for a veteran to bolster the depth, the backup center spot is wide open and Empey could battle for the spot alongside rookie Alec Lindstrom and possibly second-year pro Matt Farniok, a draft pick from 2021.
Bet You Didn't Know: Empey comes from a BYU linage, with his dad Mike playing his college ball for the Cougars (1987, 91-93) as an offensive lineman before becoming a tight ends and offensive line coach at BYU as well. He also did mission work in Portugal to serve a two-way church.