Adams was able to sneak on the Dallas Cowboys late last year, and he was fortunate enough to get noticed by Jerry Jones. Jones and head coach Dave Campo thought it would be a good idea that Adams be sent over to NFL Europe so that he could better adjust himself to the NFL next season.
Following the end of the Cowboys' 2001 season, Adams went over to the Berlin Thunder to see if he could do just that. He currently is the starting outside linebacker for the Thunder and he ranks third on the team with 22 total tackles and 1 sack.
|LB Keith Adams|
Jerry Jones was impressed with Adams' tenacity and work ethic during practice last season, and Keith will once again have the opportunity to compete for an active roster spot at the end of the summer.
Fortunately for Adams, the Cowboys are one of the most proactive teams in placing players overseas. Former NFL Europe stars have littered the Cowboys' roster for the last few years, including QB Jason Garrett, DT La'Roi Glover, DT Brandon Noble, WR Jeff Ogden, CB Duane Hawthorne, and QB Clint Stoerner.
Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones likes to see his players develop in the football equivalent on the "minor leagues," and without a doubt Keith will have the chance to make some noise when Dallas starts up training camp this summer.
If you remember, Adams had one amazing career playing football at Clemson, as he leaped onto the national scene in 1999 with an incredible 186 tackles and 16 sacks.
He was named The Sporting News Top Ranked Outside Linebacker in the Nation before the 2000 season, namely because he set a Clemson record with 35 tackles for a loss in 99, which was eight more than any player in ACC history.
Keith would go on to have a a solid junior year leading the Tigers to a 9-3 record with 138 tackles and 6 sacks.
Finally, after several days of deliberation after the Gator Bowl loss to Virginia Tech, he decided to turn pro on January 9th. Some scouts projected him to go as high as the third round, but several slow times clocked in the 40-yard dash caused his stock to drop tremendously over the course of the next few months.
He ended up being the 232nd player taken in the draft- a seventh round pick by the Tennessee Titans.
And even though Keith had a rough go of it last year, he is slowly building momentum to make a triumphant return to Dallas at the end of summer. Adams, along with fellow Cowboy DE Dwayne Missouri are two of the biggest reasons why the Thunder have the top ranked defense in NFL Europe.
However, Keith will have his work cut out for him this summer once he gets back to the states.
The Cowboys have a wealth of returning talent at linebacker in Dexter Coakley, Dat Ngyuen, newly acquired Kevin Hardy, and Marcus Steele, but look for him to land somewhere- even if it's not in Dallas.
If you've seen him play, you'll know what I mean when I say this- he's just too much of a pure competitor not make it in the NFL.
Good luck Keith, we'll be rooting for you.