The Cowboys have a history of finding undrafted players and turning them into starters, if not superstars. After his stellar offseason, could safety Markquese Bell be the next player on that list?
(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 safety Markquese Bell.)
How He Got Here: Dallas plucked Bell from the pool of undrafted rookies following the draft in May and it was easy to see why. The 6-3, 205-pound safety battled through some issues early in his collegiate career after signing with Maryland, forcing him to play at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. From there Bell posted 52 tackles and two interceptions in his lone season as a member of the Red Raven before moving to Florida A&M. He earned first-team All-Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference honors in 2019 with 61 tackles, five interceptions and two forced fumbles in 11 starts. Despite missing the 2020 season due to COVID-19, the New Jersey native impressed in his final season in the SWAC with 95 tackles and two sacks, earning him first-team all-conference honors.
What's Next: Bell was impressive during offseason workouts, including OTAs and minicamp, with his performance during that time. Jayron Kearse, Donovan Wilson, and Malik Hooker are atop the leaderboard at the safety position as of right now for Dallas, but depth has been an area of need at that spot as well. Should Bell continue to make strides once the team arrives to training camp in a few weeks, he could set himself up nicely for a bigger role ahead of some other guys.
Bet You Didn't Know: Bell has come Dallas linage on his side coming from the Rattlers. One of the all-time Cowboys' greats in Bob Hayes attended Florida A&M from 1961-1964, as well as a notable members of the 1990s Cowboys dynasty in Nate Newton.