Besides the big three of NFL Combine participants in All-American defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, All-Big 12 cornerback Kevin Peterson, and defensive end Jimmy Bean there were seven other former Cowboys participating in the Pro Day held partially in the weight room in the West End Zone and then in the Sherman Smith Indoor Training Center across the street.
The list included slot receiver David Glidden, cornerback Michael Hunter, cornerback Miketavius Jones, middle linebacker Ryan Simmons, wide receiver Brandon Sheperd, offensive lineman Devin Davis, and deep snapper Josh Elias. Elias did not do any testing and flew in from northern California, where he has a full-time job with a concrete and construction company.
"I'm just going to snap," Elias said. And that is what he did in front of a couple of scouts including the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers.
Hunter and Glidden were the most impressive testers as Hunter ran a 4.4 in the forty and had a 38.5-inch vertical jump, an 11.27 seconds in the 60-yard shuttle, and 17 reps on the 225-pound bench press test. All of those would have rated in the top 10 for defensive backs at the Combine with the forty being fifth, vertical being sixth, 60-yard shuttle comes in eighth, and the bench press at ninth.
Glidden, who led the Cowboys in receiving with 57 receptions for 866 yards and three touchdowns, clocked a 4.52 in the forty and a 4.3 in the 5-10-5 or 20-yard shuttle.
"Hopefully, they see that I was prepared and ready and that I was putting in the work before I got out here," Glidden explained. "Hopefully, they can see a little toughness and some of those things I like to bring to my game."
Glidden added that he did not do a bench test and that he had to push it in training because his hand injury that hampered him in the Sugar Bowl and caused him to have surgery after the Bedlam game kept him from really getting started until the first of February.
Speaking of surgery, Ryan Simmons missed a lot of last season after tearing the PCL and MCL in his knee against Kansas State. He had surgery and was done for the year. He was training and wanted to test but it was just too soon. He did do the bench press rep test and had 25 reps, that would have been third among linebackers at the NFL Combine.
You see part of what goes on during Pro Days is pure passion, and the intense desire for players like Simmons not to be done playing the game they love. It is more than a big contract, pride in hearing your name in the draft, or the money.
"I've been playing my whole life and this is a dream," Simmons said. "You want to follow through with it, see where it goes. I'm going to keep pushing with all I've got and I'm going to put all my energy into this."