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Role Call: Opportunity Ahead For Jake Ferguson


(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 tight end Jake Ferguson.)

How He Got Here: The Cowboys drafted Ferguson in the fourth round (No. 129 overall) out of Wisconsin, where he was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2021 after posting a team-high 46 catches. Ferguson had 13 career touchdown catches as a three-year starter for the Badgers, but his experience blocking in the run game for a blue-collar program was attractive to a Cowboys offense looking to improve in that area.

What's Next: There's certainly a path to playing time for Ferguson. Last year, the Cowboys hoped to resume their two-tight end package featuring Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin, who was returning from ACL surgery. They still ran 12 personnel on close to 25% of their snaps, according to Sharp Football, but the dynamic changed again when Jarwin suffered a hip injury on Halloween against the Vikings that eventually required surgery after the season. The Cowboys released Jarwin in March, making tight end depth a top priority in the draft. Veteran Jeremy Sprinkle is back, as is third-year veteran Sean McKeon, but Ferguson has a chance to earn snaps on offense and special teams right away.

Bet You Didn't Know: Ferguson has been attached to football and the Wisconsin program since birth, basically. He was born 17 days after the Badgers won the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day 1999, and his grandfather is Barry Alvarez, the former longtime Wisconsin head coach.

Quotable: "I got kicked out of my youth soccer league for tackling people because all I wanted to do was play football. I grew up playing football. My brother had me playing football before I could play in the flag football league, before I was even in kindergarten. He put my head through the dry wall in the basement a couple times, but I still ended up loving it. I don't see myself playing anything else." – Ferguson on whether he played any other sports growing up.

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