Counting the 10 wide receivers currently on the roster (including sure-to-make-the-team guys like Roy Williams, Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, and Patrick Crayton), the Dallas Cowboys look like they want to make absolutely sure they have a solid receiver corps this season.
That's because Jesse Holley, a former North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver and—of all things—a member of the UNC 2005 national championship basketball team, has been invited to Dallas' training camp.
Holley was the winner of Michael Irvin's reality show 4th and Long. The winner gets a spot on Dallas' training camp with a chance to make the team.
I must admit, I wasn't surprised it was a wide receiver.
Not bad for a 25-year-old former Canadian Football League football player who had been working at a security company.
Holley's size is and speed is sure to garner attention: 6'3", 215 pounds, and a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash.
Of course, Irvin saw something he liked. Dallas Morning News' Barry Horn reports Irvin was impressed with Holley being a quick learner.
That's what may ultimately lead him to make the team.
I recall, back around 2002, doing a phone interview with former Denver Broncos running back Reggie Rivers. Rivers attended Randolph Air Force Base's Randolph High School, near San Antonio. I asked Reggie what was the make-or-break factor for NFL success.
Rivers replied that when he was with the Broncos during the John Elway Era, he had to learn about 100 offensive plays, along with several variations of each play. When the play was called in the huddle, you had to know where to line up and what to do. Take a handoff? Block? Go for a pass? Go in motion?
And if Elway called an audible, you had to know what your new role would be.
Rivers told me, "I knew guys who had amazing athletic talent who washed out of the NFL because they couldn't learn the plays, and I knew guys who weren't fast, big, or strong, but they lasted because they could learn the plays."
This, of course, reminded me a little of Joe Montana, who, despite being average size for a quarterback (6'2") and not having a great arm or great scrambling ability, went on to have a Hall of Fame career because he could pick apart defenses in his sleep and was a leader.
One has to wonder if this reality show is Dallas' attempt at publicity (perhaps to draw attention for naming rights for Dallas Cowboys Stadium) or if it's Dallas' way of trying to find a famous way of finding an unknown gem.