Over the next two weeks, DallasCowboys.com dives deeper into the talented group of undrafted rookies that will battle for a roster spot this offseason.
- Name: Darius "Jet" Anderson
- Position: Running Back
- School: TCU
- Height/Weight: 5-10/208lbs
- Awards & Recognition: Senior Bowl Participant, All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, NFL Combine Invite
The Good: They call him 'Jet' for a reason. Anderson's explosiveness is incredible to watch when he cranks it all the way up and is the most likely reason he'll have a future in the NFL. In the open field, Anderson is just as tough to bring down as any back in the country with 43 missed tackles coming on just 153 carries (according to PFF). The ability he possesses to make defenders miss comes from a vast arsenal of moves as a ball carrier along with his innate balance in the middle of traffic. His athleticism was on full display at the NFL Combine when he landed a 36-inch vertical and a 10-foot 8-inch broad jump. Each very impressive for the running back position.
The Project: There are times on film, you'll see Anderson be extremely picky on the hole he wants to select. While that may not sound like such a bad thing, it's a sign that his vision and patience at the position are just a few seconds behind what it should be. If he hesitates behind the line of scrimmage against NFL competition like he did in college, he'll be swallowed up. There are times when that decision-making leads Anderson to the outside, which doesn't play to his strengths as an explosive player. He is much more successful attacking the middle of the line but loses ground and leverage the closer he gets to the sideline.
The Summary: Anderson spent much of his childhood up in the Dallas area before moving down near Houston. While he lived in Dallas, he never played any American football but instead grew up playing soccer, which might explain his elusiveness and solid footwork as a tailback. His explosiveness and ability to make a defender miss are foundation enough to see a future in the NFL for Anderson. It just may be tough to see the field much with the Cowboys because of the loaded backfield already in place. With both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combining to create the league's fifth-best backfield in 2019, and veteran fullback Jamize Olawale returning this season, Anderson will be competing Jordan Chunn for a third running back spot or perhaps the practice squad.
The Extra: Back in 2015, Anderson led the George Ranch High School Longhorns (Richmond, TX) to a 5A Division I State Championship and a 16-0 perfect season. A truly dominant season where Jet rushed for over 2,200 yards and 30 touchdowns en route to being named District MVP, Houston Chronicle Player of the Year, and State Championship game MVP. However, the perfect season was in jeopardy in Week Six, as the Foster Falcons took a lead into the fourth quarter behind a touchdown reception and over 115 total return yards from a talented junior receiver, CeeDee Lamb. Anderson added two fourth quarter touchdown scampers to ultimately take the matchup of future Cowboys teammates 35-28 in district play.
The Cowboys have a rich history in signing undrafted rookies from Drew Pearson to Tony Romo. Check out this year's group of 15 rookie free agents that have agreed to terms.