IRVING, Texas – The signing of draft picks can mean a lot for the future of a franchise.
Fans aren't the only ones who get excited about those additions. While the incoming players could put some veterans out of a job, many of the long-time Cowboys can't wait to pair up with the rookie draftees.
One of those newcomers, Joseph Randle, isn't the typical fifth-round pick, as he figures to move directly into a backup role behind DeMarco Murray. The Oklahoma Sooner doesn't know the incoming Oklahoma State product well yet, but he looks forward to working with him and building that relationship.
"He's definitely a quality running back coming from Oklahoma State," Murray said. "They've always been known for great running backs. I'm excited to bring him into the family and definitely we're going to get after it a little bit."
Murray said the NFL's becoming somewhat of a two-back league. He's never felt like a true starter dating back to his days at Oklahoma and now in Dallas, where he's played with Felix Jones throughout his career. Now he'll be the veteran of the group.
"I'm excited for the new kid, excited for Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner, two great running backs," he said. "Those guys have definitely worked hard and definitely earned themselves a shot at playing time next year. I'm excited to see what [head coach Jason] Garrett and our offense does this year."
The player who wore the No. 1 at Oklahoma State before Randle is just as excited about the addition in the backfield.
"It speaks for itself, Oklahoma State," said wide receiver Dez Bryant. "Randle's a great running back. He has vision. He can see the field, that's what makes him so great. We expect him to do big things."
Bryant will have another player on the roster from his former college conference that should impact him more directly.
Baylor's Terrance Williams comes to Dallas as a third-round selection and should immediately compete for playing time and targets. While some players would want less competition at their position, Bryant's completely on board with the pick.
"He's a great receiver," Bryant said. "He can stretch the field, he can go deep, he can make a short yardage play go long. He's got that type of ability to go up and grab the ball. That's what you want."
Bryant will get to know Williams much better this season, but some current Cowboys players already know the draft picks well. Defensive lineman Sean Lissemore doesn't play the same position as fourth-round pick B.W. Webb, but he remembers the cornerback from their days together at William & Mary.
More specifically, Lissemore remembers his final year at college when Webb led the team as a freshman with eight interceptions. He realized quickly that Webb could play.
"I think that first game against (Virginia), he had like three interceptions or something like that," Lissemore said. "He just kind of stood out right off the bat. I always knew that kid had a chance, for sure."
The players' relationships should begin to develop more this week as the full team arrives for Organized Team Activities. Some players, like former in-state competitors Murray and Randle, will have to forget rivalries of the past as they come together as teammates for the first time.
"We'll push it to the side for now, but I'm sure once that [Oklahoma-Oklahoma State] game comes around, we'll talk a little bit and hopefully make a friendly wager," Murray said with a smile. "We'll see what happens."