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July 26, 2013

Rookie free agent WR Eric Rogers hopes to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing for his favorite team

Receiver Eric Rogers was saying "we" and "us" long before he actually signed with the Cowboys. He grew up in Southern California as a Cowboys fan.

The Cal Lutheran product said he was "devastated" by the team's loss to the Redskins last year.

"That game right there, you win that, we’re in the playoffs," Rogers said. "When you’re in the playoffs, anything can happen."

Seventeen NFL teams showed up for Rogers' Pro Day in March when he ran a 4.48 and a 4.51 in the 40. The Packers were extremely interested in him after he made 91 receptions for 1,298 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career at the Division III school. But it was a no-brainer he would sign with the Cowboys after they expressed interest.

"I didn’t know if they would call, honestly," Rogers said. "I was sure happy they did. I am glad to be here. It’s one of the best opportunities I have in my life."

The 6-foot, 3-inch Rogers has turned some heads with his performance in camp so far, but he more likely is a candidate for the practice squad than for the Cowboys' 53-player roster with Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Terrance Williams and Dwayne Harris assured of making the team, barring injury.

"It's all hard work," Cal Lutheran coach Ben McEnroe said. "He's a natural athlete, but he's worked his way to get here, and he deserves a shot."

Cowboys receivers coach Derek Dooley praised Rogers, but said the rookie receiver has work to do getting off press coverage.

"Eric's a big target, and he's got really good hands, so when he's had those opportunities to catch a football, he's made the play," Dooley said. "Of course, what he's got to work on like most rookies is getting open. Because he's a tall target, he's got to be a little quicker off press. Those are the things that are tough when you come up in this league."

-- Charean Williams

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