When the draft comes around each year, you can almost always count on a trade or two by the Cowboys. As usual, that was the case again this year. Dallas made two trades in the 2014 draft, the first of which got most of the attention.. The Cowboys swapped 2nd round picks with Washington and gave up a 3rd to grab DE Demarcus Lawrence. The 2nd trade, however, has gone somewhat under the radar. In the 5th round, the Cowboys noticed that WR Devin Street (who they had a 3rd round grade on) was still available. So Jerry got on the phone and jumped up to the 146th pick, which cost him our 5th round pick and one of our six 7th rounders. For the Cowboys, that was small price to pay for a player of Street’s caliber.
Street, Pitt’s All-Time leader receiver, got somewhat lost in the shuffle in what is seemingly a very deep wide receiver class. 21 other wideouts were selected before the Cowboys grabbed Street early in the 5th round. While Street was somewhat surprised that he slipped so far, he’s glad that things worked out the way they did.
“It didn’t sink in immediately (when he learned that he would be a Cowboy). My first thought was ‘let’s get to work’. I was just anxious to get started. I felt like I dropped in the draft a little bit, so I was ready to get off my couch and prove myself right then and there. After it settled in, it was hard to fathom. Dallas was the place that I wanted to be all along. After meeting with Coach Dooley and Coach Garrett at the combine, it was just the perfect fit for me. They have a lot of faith in me and I want to live up to that. I’m just going to go out there and work hard.”
Street told me that one reason he might have slipped in the draft could be because of his shoulder that was injured toward the end of last season. Regardless of the reason, Street is determined to show the other 31 teams that they made a mistake by not drafting him.
“Anything can happen. We knew it was deep draft. I was hurt at end of the season so I couldn’t play in the Senior Bowl, which could’ve hurt me a little bit. It’s just hard to watch film and get a feel for a player. If I went to the Senior Bowl I think it would’ve helped me. Teams could’ve seen me in person and I think it would’ve answered some of their questions. I feel like I’m a 1st or 2nd round talent to be honest with you. I was hoping to be picked by the 3rd round. I know I’m better than a lot of the wide receivers who were drafted before me. Now it’s time to prove it and make my name rise up out of this draft class. It’s just some extra fuel to the fire. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t take it back. This is the perfect system for me. It’s a great organization and it’s where I want to be, but it definitely gave me some extra motivation.”
As for Devin’s injury, he said that it won’t be a problem and that he’s 100% healthy. He has been fully cleared to participate in rookie mini camp and offseason workouts.
“Oh yeah. I’ll be fine. I got all my physicals today and they said I’ll be good to go. Both my ankle and shoulder are good. I’ll still be doing some extra exercises to stay on top of everything and to stay healthy, but I’m good to go.”
While Street is very confident that he’ll be able stay healthy, the coaches and staff seem to be as well. Devin said that he has already talked to the coaches about what his role will be with the offense, and it appears that this team has big plans for their rookie wideout.
“I talked to Coach Dooley about what my role will be. I’m going to line up in the slot, as well as outside, so I’ll need to know the whole route tree. I’m a precise route runner, which I think will be the biggest thing that I’ll bring to the table. I’ll be running very complex routes.”
Street will most likely end up being the team’s #3 wide receiver next season, giving the offense yet another big, deep threat who can stretch the field. With Linehan as the new play caller, the Cowboys could be passing the ball even more than before, so Street should get plenty of opportunities to in the future to get excited about. Even when he’s not getting the ball thrown his way though, he is excited about the opportunity to play with, and learn from, guys like Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.
“Those guys are the top of their game. They’re guys who are experienced and have had a lot of success. I’m blessed to be working with them, to be teammates with them. I kno that I’ll learn so much from those guys. They’re top tier players, Pro Bowlers. I remember watching them as a youngster, and now I’ll be playing with them. I won’t be shellshocked or anything, it’s a profession and time to act accordingly, but I’m definitely blessed to have this opportunity.”
Street is an extremely hard worker. He’s always looking for ways to improve. While he is anxious to learn from the guys on our team, he’s picked up some things from a few other pro’s as well.
“Marvin Harrison was one guy I watched a lot. He was just so smart. A technician. I also watched Chad Johnson because of his foot work and his work ethic. And of course, Randy Moss because of his ability to take the top off of the defense and his explosiveness. I try to emulate all of those guys games in different aspects.”
While Street tries learning as much as he can from others, he still feels like he has some unique qualities that he’ll be able to bring to the table. These are some of the things that Street said Cowboys fans can expect from him..
“They’re going to get a professional with high character on and off field. I’m going to stay out of trouble. Now that I’m here, I’m 100% committed to this game, to the Dallas Cowboys, to the fan base, my new teammates, my new coaches, the owner. I’m just going to work hard and make plays. I’m also very sure-handed, so I won’t drop many balls. I have a great catch-radius. I’m humble and very hardworking. Every day, every route, I’m going all out. I’m going to be the best I can and I plan on playing for a long time in Dallas.”
Street is an exciting football player to watch, and has a ton of potential, but one knock on him is his size. He has great height, standing at 6’3″, but is kind of on the skinny side, only weighing 190 lbs. Street knows he’s not at an ideal weight, but says that he’s already been going to the gym and working out more. He told me that the biggest thing he wants to improve on is gaining more strength and muscle. While getting stronger is one of his goals, it’s not the only one. Street has some other, more ambitious goals as well, that he’s set for himself for his rookie season.
“My main goal is to contribute in a major role. They’ve got guys like Dez and Terrance Williams who have already made their marks on this team, but now it’s my turn to step up and contribute. I want to play a lot. I want to have over 750 yards, a ton of catches. score some touchdowns. I don’t want to sit on the bench most of the time. I want to be out there on the field.”
Street certainly has a lot of traits and qualities that should get Cowboys fans excited. When you listen to him talk about football, and watch him play, there’s a lot to like. However, as much as I like him as a football player, I like him even more as a person. I noticed on Street’s Facebook page some pictures of him and a couple of his college teammates with some young children who were wearing dirty clothes in what looked like a 3rd world country. When I asked him about it, this is what he had to say..
“That was a trip to Haiti that we made to so we could give back to those who are less fortunate than us. That’s a big reason why I play football. Of course, I want to be a master of the game and be great, but I’m not playing for myself. I’m playing for others. As a professional athlete you’re under a microscope all the time, so you can be a huge figure in the community and in society. You can be a role model. I’m very strong Christian, and that trip helped me grow in my faith even more. It really affected my life and how I look at things. I’m so thankful for every day because so many people don’t have what we have. Seeing kids over there eating mud and sticks just to get that satisfaction of feeling full, not getting any nutrients. It’s hard to watch. We’re very blessed over here and I really want to share my blessings with others.”
After doing this interview, I knew one thing for sure.. This is the kind of guy you want on your football team. Street is hardworking, passionate, intelligent, determined, confident, physically gifted, and above all, a great person. This guy is special. Regardless of how his career turns out I’m glad this guy is a Dallas Cowboy.