Jamar Wall needed to get his mind away from the NFL Draft as he waited to find out where he might be playing football next season.
So he turned off the broadcast at his parents' home in Plainview and turned on the PlayStation 3 to try and not think about it.
Then an unavailable number appeared on his cell phone.
"I wasn't too sure if I wanted to answer it," Wall said. "When I picked it up, a voice said, ‘Hold on one second.' So at first I thought it might be a prank call. Then someone came to the phone and he said, ‘Is this Jamar?' I said, ‘Yes sir,' Then he said, ‘This is Jerry Jones. Just work hard because we're going to draft you to the Dallas Cowboys.' He kept talking but I was just on cloud nine after that."
Wall was the 27th pick of the sixth round on Saturday (196 overall) and became the second Texas Tech player drafted by Dallas in as many years.
He rejoins former Red Raider defensive end Brandon Williams in Dallas. Williams was the 20th pick of the fourth round (120 overall) last year by the Cowboys but missed the 2009 season with an injury.
Wall said Williams was one of the first people he called after he got off the phone with Jones.
"I called to talk to him a little bit after everything kind of calmed down," Wall said. "It's going to be fun getting back with him. We came in at Tech together and now we're going to be playing on the same NFL team. So I'm looking forward to it."
The draft on Saturday completes a long four-month process for Wall, who constantly worked on proving his doubters that he could be a possible NFL defensive back. Some doubted his speed and ability to lock up with bigger receivers but Wall hopes his performance at the Blue-Gray Football Classic combined with his hard work and being drafted will lay some of that to rest, for now.
But it also means Wall now has the chance to wear the uniform and helmet of a team he followed as a kid. At least he already had the chance to play in the billion-dollar Cowboys Stadium in Arlington when Tech beat Baylor in last season's finale.
"I grew up a Cowboys fan," he said. "So it's exciting to think that I'll be playing in that stadium for this great franchise. … I can't wait to get to Valley Ranch and start working."
It's another step for this once powerful Class 4A running back out of Plainview who converted to defensive back after being recruited by the Red Raiders. Wall flourished under former defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill and quickly became a familiar face in Tech's D.
He collected 185 total tackles over his four seasons in Lubbock while picking off nine passes and deflecting another 34. He also forced two fumbles and left a vivid memory in the minds of Red Raider and Big 12 fans last season for his vicious hits on Kansas running back Jake Sharp and Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson, among others.
Wall said he can't wait to learn from guys like Terrance Newman and Orlando Scandrick, and could see himself getting involved immediately on nickel packages and special teams. Wall had eight punt returns and 23 kickoff returns for 570 yards over his four-year career with Tech.
Wall also had a quick message to assure Cowboys fans this is a good decision and put a warning out there for the teams that passed on him.
"I thank the Cowboys for seeing something in me that others didn't," he said. "I'm going to go out there and prove to everyone else that they passed on a good player. That's all I'm really going to say and I'll just let my play on the field do the rest of the talking for me and make the other teams regret it."
Former Red Raiders Brandon Carter and Brandon Sharpe are awaiting free-agent contracts from teams.
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