Former TCU running back Ed Wesley once lived in apartments across the street from the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility in Irving. He said he always dreamed of having an opportunity to join his hometown NFL team.
That opportunity arrived today, when Wesley took part in his first practice at Valley Ranch after agreeing to terms as an undrafted free agent. Wesley replaces Darrell Scott, who was released after failing a physical, on the Cowboys’ roster.
“It’s a blessing. It’s awesome. I’ve been a Cowboys fan all my life,” Wesley said. “It’s something that’s in our family’s blood.”
Wesley left TCU after his junior season, citing personal reasons, but went undrafted in the NFL supplemental draft. Wesley said he wanted to help his mother, who was battling health issues related to rheumatoid arthritis.
Ironically, it was his mother who broke the news to Wesley about the Cowboys’ interest because his cell phone was dead and he missed the initial call Tuesday from team officials. When he returned home, Wesley said his mother got “a little too hyped” while trying to relay the news.
“She’d come running down the hallway screaming. So I knew it was something good or something bad,” Wesley said. “She told me the Cowboys had called and I was ecstatic. They called back the very next day.”
Wesley passed a medical exam Wednesday and took part in this morning’s workout, where he also worked as an outside rusher on the punt block team. Although he did not see special teams duties in games for TCU, Wesley said he “did it in practice” and is willing to do whatever it takes to land a spot on the Cowboys’ roster.
He figures to battle Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner for the third running back job, behind DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones. Last season, Wesley rushed for 745 yards and six touchdowns at TCU, where he averaged 6.1 yards per carry.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure. For me to make the team, I have to work hard and not show any weaknesses,” Wesley said. “Just get it done. Don’t make any mistakes.”
Wesley said he worked out for 14 different NFL teams before getting a call to camp from the Cowboys. He said he was disappointed to go undrafted in the supplemental draft but acknowledged the “wasn’t in the shape I needed to be in at the time.”
After some high-intensity sessions at a training facility in Carrollton, Wesley said he hopes to follow in the footsteps of past undrafted Cowboys’ free agents like quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Miles Austin.
“Hopefully, I’ll reach where they’re at some day,” Wesley said.
_ Jimmy Burch