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Next up in our ‘best undrafted NFL players’ series is the teams of the NFC (National Football Conference) East, kicking off with none other than America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys. Love them or hate them, they certainly have some history, but only one player is taking their pick for best undrafted player of all time.
There’s quite some competition for best undrafted stars to join Dallas, but the recently retired player come pundit takes the cherry here, and it is of course QB (quarterback) Tony Romo. Romo is probably as controversial a choice as he was a player, not because of any particular misconduct but rather due to split opinion over his output as a player amid bouts of injury and inconsistency. To his honour, despite going undrafted out of Eastern Illinois, Romo set the franchise passing record at 34,183 yards and 248 touchdowns, led Dallas for an entire decade and reached four pro bowls. Dallas also reached the playoffs four times in that decade though Romo won only two playoff matches in that spout. His numbers are incredibly impressive but his injury prone nature and ‘choking’ in the playoffs often leave him with a slightly unfair reputation, but he was indeed a great player that overcame the odds.
New York Giants:
WR (wide receiver) Victor Cruz is different from many of the other players on this list in that he is being honoured whilst still very much being in the midst of his career. As a current player for the Giants with plenty of years ahead of him still it would be unfair to quote and compare too many statistics against some of the other names on this list. There is no doubt though that he deserves the spot, performing incredibly in a pre season rival match against the New York Jets to earn his starting position with the Giants. Cruz achieved over 1,500 receiving yards in the 2011 season and went to the pro bowl in his second season, taking part in the Giants’ win of Super Bowl XLVI. He is one of their most popular players in Franchise History and still has plenty more to give and prove!
Characterising the term ‘strong safety’ S (safety) Andre Waters is remembered as a hard hitting safety, not unlike the Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor, and terrorised WR’s, cementing a firm spot in the Eagles’ dominant defense in the time he played. A local boy, Waters joined the Eagles after graduating Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, topping 100 tackles consecutively for 6 seasons. At the end of his career he had an incredible 15 interceptions and 900 plus takedowns! A real force to be reckoned with.
Finishing up the list for the NFC east is OT (offensive tackle) for the Washington Redskins, Joe Jacoby. Jacoby’s opportunity came through some roster room for the Redskins who needed more linemen and in particular due to their rookie signing Mark May holding out on his contract terms. Originally bringing in Jacoby as a defensive lineman, his value on offense was soon realised and he played the majority of the first season, cementing his place at Left tackle. Starring in four super bowls he was a finalist for the hall of fame and twice first team all pro, also seeing four pro bowl nominations. This is all particularly impressive given that the offensive line is not a very glamorous position. Whilst vitally important for protecting the quarterback the QB, RB, WR’s etc. tend to get the credit for scoring or the defenders who stop them, so to be recognised at O-line is testament to Jacoby’s ability.
IMAGE SOURCE: https://thelandryhat.com/2014/09/28/sunday-night-football-cowboys-quarterback-tony-romos-back/