Tarleton State quarterback Nick Stephens felt he impressed the Cowboys during Dallas Day workouts Thursday. But before the day was done, the Cowboys claimed Rudy Carpenter off waivers from the Buccaneers giving them a fourth quarterback.
"My dad told me about that," Stephens said Friday. "It's one of those things where you don't know. You can drive yourself crazy is what it comes down to. You can't worry about anything you can't control, so I don't."
Stephens, who has been working with former NFL quarterback Steve DeBerg, is confident he'll get a shot somewhere even, if as expected, he's not drafted. He went to three Pro Days and participated in a regional and a super regional for prospects, so scouts have gotten a good look at him.
"I would say absolutely based on what I'm being told [that he'll get a shot], but it's a crazy business, and you never know what is going to happen," Stephens said. "I'm just staying level-headed and not telling myself one thing or another and just rolling with the punches. I'm just going to make the best of as many opportunities as I get."
Stephens started six games at the University of Tennessee in 2008, but he couldn't hold the job and transferred to Tarleton in 2010. He finished his career with the Vols with 982 passing yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions.
Last year at Tarleton, Stephens completed 56.4 percent of his passes for 3,005 yards and 20 touchdowns. He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of another former Tarleton quarterback, Richard Bartel. Bartel went undrafted in 2007 but was signed by the Cowboys and last season with the Arizona Cardinals, he threw his first NFL pass.
"A shot is essentially what everyone wants," Stephens said.
Stephens hasn't seen the Cowboys play in person since Drew Bledsoe was the team's quarterback and they called Texas Stadium home. He went inside Cowboys Stadium for the first time at Dallas Day, where he threw along with Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne and Central Arkansas quarterback Nathan Dick.
"It was a fun day, and that's what it comes down is just being loose and relaxed and enjoying the moment without a lot of pressure on yourself," Stephens said. "It's easy to put pressure on yourself, because if you have Jerry Jones standing in front of you and talking to you, you can take it the wrong and put pressure on yourself or you can loosen up and do what you've been doing for a long time. That's what I did, and it worked out well."
-- Charean Williams