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NFL Draft

Why Nick Eubanks Can Make Cowboys Roster As UDFA

  • The Draft Network
  • July 27, 2021
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From James Harrison to Antonio Gates, Brent Grimes to Michael Bennett, and Adam Thielen to Doug Baldwin, undrafted rookies have a chance to make an impact in all shapes and sizes. Recently, players like Phillip Lindsay and James Robsinson made big splashes in their first years with their organizations after choosing to sign with them following the draft. In this series, we’re going to go across the league and find some players who have a chance at making the regular-season roster as undrafted free agent rookies from the 2021 NFL Draft class.

Our first observation takes us to Jerry World where the Dallas Cowboys could have a gem on their hands in tight end Nick Eubanks.

Eubanks was a 4-star tight end recruit when he chose Michigan over the likes of Alabama, Florida, USC, and Auburn. Despite playing for four years in Ann Arbour, Eubanks really didn't get to showcase his skills much, mainly because he wasn’t able to hone them much either. The erratic quarterback play throughout his collegiate career didn’t help Eubanks’ development, and instead, his time at Michigan is known for him being an athletic vertical threat with not many stats to show for it.

Eubanks ran a 4.59 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds at Michigan’s Pro Day, which was quite impressive. But ultimately, there just was not enough production from him on the field for him to hear his name called on draft weekend.  

Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz saw 89 targets last season. He hauled in 63 of them for more than 600 yards receiving and is poised to be Dallas’ starting tight end once again. Blake Jarwin was supposed to be the team’s starting tight end last season after signing a three-year, $24.25 million contract extension. However, he tore his ACL in the team’s first game of the 2020 regular season. 

Schultz and Jarwin should be back and ready to go for the opening of the season, but as we know, teams carry anywhere from three to five tight ends on their roster at any point in time. Jeremy Sprinkle is likely the TE3 on the team for what he can do as a blocker. However, beyond that, it’s anyone’s spot to earn. Another former Michigan tight end Sean McKeon is on the roster, but Eubanks brings considerably more athleticism.

Dallas was 14th in the league last year with 221 snaps coming in 12-personnel with two tight ends on the field, so that should present Eubanks with a chance to make the opening day 53-man roster, especially if the team is still easing Jarwin back into action. An important part of making the final roster when you’re a roster bubble guy is having versatility, specifically on special teams. You have to be a consistent contributor in punt and kick teams in order to make sure you give yourself the chance to even trot out there for a handful of offensive plays (likely special package plays, but still). 

In reality, a chance for Eubanks might not come until later in the season or perhaps going into next season. As is the case for most undrafted free agent rookies, the practice squad is the most likely destination for Eubanks. But many believed the best was yet to come for this athletic tight end, and as Jarwin continues to get his football legs back under him, maybe Eubanks puts that athletic ability on display enough in training camp and into the preseason to make the opening day roster.

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