As I watched a replay of the Dallas Cowboys 2008 appearance on the HBO series “Hard Knocks”, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a couple undrafted rookies trying to make the 2012 Cowboys team that compare to Danny Amendola and Todd Lowber.
2008 WR Danny Amendola and 2012 WR Cole Beasley:
Danny Amendola was a slot WR out of Texas Tech who was only 5’11 and 183 pounds. Amendola impressed in the Cowboys 2008 preseason camp causing Terrell Owens to boldly state that if Danny didn’t make the Cowboys roster, he would land on an NFL roster some where. T.O. was ultimately right about the prediction.
Amendola fumbled a punt return in their first preseason game against the Chargers which basically cost the Cowboys that game. At the end of preseason, the Cowboys cut him but then signed him to the practice squad after clearing waivers. At the time the Cowboys had T.O., Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd. (Only Austin is on the current roster)
In 2009, the Rams signed him and he caught 43 passes for 326 yards and one touchdown as a slot receiver. He returned 66 kicks for 1,618 yards and 31 punts returns for 360 yards. That’s averaging better than 10 yards per punt return.
In 2010 Amendola lead the NFL in all-purpose yards with 2,364. A productive WR for sure.
Did the Cowboys give up on this bright prospect too soon? Did they put too much emphasis on the preseason fumble? Place Danny on the rather long list of former Cowboys who have gone on to play pretty darn well with other NFL teams. I’ve often speculated that one could gather a team of former Cowboy players currently on other NFL rosters, and beat the current Cowboys.
Today the Cowboys find themselves searching for a slot WR and are taking a look at Cole Beasley.
Like Amendola, Beasley played college football in the state of Texas at SMU and was a smallish but productive slot WR. I just can’t help but compare them as Beasley has already impressed in the Cowboys mini camp. HERE
My advise to Beasley would be if you return punts in a preseason game, just make a fair catch and don’t risk a fumble.
2008 WR Todd Lowber and 2012 WR Saalim Akim:
The 2008 “Hard Knocks” chronicled the story of WR Todd Lowber’s attempt to become an NFL wide receiver. His athletic ability really stood out but he had almost no experience at playing football. Jim Garrett, former Cowboys scout and father of current head coach Jason Garrett, was big on the upside potential of the athletic Lowber in the “Hard Knocks” series.
Lowber was a high jump champ with great speed but his lack of football experience caused him to be cut by the Cowboys in the final cuts that year.
Lowber ended up in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts where in 2009 he suffered a serious concussion while returning a kick. Later in 2009, he was released by the Argonauts. Currently he is a free agent.
Akim is a an undrafted rookie that caught the Cowboys attention with his sick 40 time of 4.31. Although his brother Az Akim is a WR for the Rams, Saalim has very little football experience and has played soccer in the past. To say the least, Saalim will be a project as he learns the game of football in the NFL. As Lowber reminds us, these projects rarely pan out at the NFL level.
Let’s hope Saalim’s attempt has a better ending than that of Todd Lowber.
A good article on Akim from Gosselin: AKIM