IRVING, Texas – Their new teammate, La'el Collins, was telling a roomful of reporters his unprecedented story of going undrafted to becoming the perhaps the most sought-after rookie free agent in NFL history.
Down the hall, the rest of the 2015 rookie class was getting ready for their first on-field action as Dallas Cowboys.
The team's draft picks and rookie free agents arrived at Valley Ranch on Thursday to receive their equipment, undergo physicals and take individual photos before Friday's start to the three-day rookie minicamp.
Head coach Jason Garrett has said he expects all eight picks, including first-round cornerback Byron Jones, to be on hand for camp. Jones visited the complex six days ago to be formally introduced as the No. 27 overall pick. Now he's getting ready for his first actual football in months.
"It's awesome," Jones said. "It feels good to be back. It's like a new beginning – a new chapter."
The Cowboys are expected to officially sign about 15 rookie free agents and field a number of tryout players for practice. The minicamp will help acclimate the players to the Cowboys' daily routine as well as the coaching staff.
It's also a chance to build camaraderie. Some already know each other or have played against each other. Second-round defensive end Randy Gregory was hosted by fifth-round defensive end Ryan Russell on his college visit to Purdue. Now they're looking to improve the Cowboys' pass rush together.
Gregory made an official pre-draft visit to Valley Ranch and left convinced the Cowboys were a perfect fit for him. Thursday he was assigned his No. 94.
"It's been a lot of working out, trying to get my body ready for the camp and things like that," Gregory said. "The fun part's out of the way. Now it's time to grind. It's time for business."