Cowboys 2024 undrafted free agents: Dallas wins bidding war for promising tight end (2024)

By Michael Gehlken

6:39 PM on Apr 27, 2024 CDT — Updated at 7:20 PM on Apr 28, 2024 CDT

Money talks in the NFL.

How much the Cowboys gave at least one undrafted rookie Saturday evening speaks volumes.


After the draft concluded, Dallas won a bidding war for ex-Minnesota tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford. He received a $20,000 signing bonus plus a $225,000 guarantee on his salary. The accepted offer sheet is a statement both to the Cowboys’ interest and that of other clubs.


Spann-Ford deepens a position group already loaded with young talent.

“It brings out the best in you,” said Will McClay, Cowboys vice president of player personnel. “More competition brings out the best in everybody.”

Jake Ferguson, 25, is locked in as the top tight end.


Luke Schoonmaker, 25, is coming off shoulder surgery after a foot issue sidelined him much of last offseason. Still, the 2023 second-round pick factors into the team’s plans. John Stephens, 24, might have edged Peyton Hendershot for a roster spot last summer if not for an ACL tear in August. Stephens is on track for training camp.

Hendershot, an undrafted signing in 2022, has made the initial 53-man roster for two straight seasons. After a dip in production last year, the 25-year-old may need to be at the top of his game to make it three straight.

Princeton Fant, who spent 2023 on the practice squad as an undrafted rookie, also has flashed with physicality.


The Cowboys had a draftable grade on Spann-Ford, who is 6-6 and 260 pounds and boasts a large catch radius.


“I don’t think you can have enough 6-4, 250-pound prototype players on your team,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Especially with the [new] kickoff and kickoff return, I think that’s even more prominent. I agree with Will 100%. You want every position to be as competitive as it can be, and I think there are a lot more reps at special teams that will occur in these games.

“Tight ends, linebackers, outside linebackers — that body type will be pretty prominent, particularly in kickoff coverage.”

Along those lines, former Central Florida linebacker Jason Johnson is among the other undrafted rookies to watch. He recorded 110, 126 and 114 tackles the past three seasons, the first of which was spent at Eastern Illinois where he was a two-time All-American at Div. I’s Football Championship Subdivision level.


Find more Cowboys undrafted free agent signings below.

Minnesota TE Brevyn Spann-Ford

Another promising young tight end for the Cowboys: They have agreed to terms with former Minnesota TE Brevyn Spann-Ford, a person familiar with the deal said. He is 6-6, 260 pounds with a large catch radius. Dynamic inline option to compete for opportunity in 2024.

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 27, 2024

UCF LB Jason Johnson

UCF ➡️ Dallas

Jason Johnson is a Cowboy!!@jtown_8 | @dallascowboys

— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) April 27, 2024


UCF TE Alec Holler

UCF ➡️ Dallas

Alec Holler is a Cowboy!!@AlecHoller | @dallascowboys

— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) April 28, 2024

East Carolina safety Julius Wood

Cowboys agreed to terms with former East Carolina safety Julius Wood, a person close to situation said. Heavy hitter led the Pirates in tackles the past two seasons. Also in interceptions last year with two.

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 28, 2024


Baylor LB Byron Vaughns

Ex-Baylor OLB Byron Vaughns, who agreed to terms with the Cowboys as undrafted rookie, graduated from Eastern Hills High School in Fort Worth. Has long frame with 35-inch arms, 84-inch wing span. Also played for Utah St. and Texas, where he and DeMarvion Overshown were teammates.

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 28, 2024

Illinois DT Denzel Daxon

Cowboys added undrafted rookie DT Denzel Daxon, a Bahamas native who reportedly did not play organized football until age 17. Team continues to embrace untapped potential in athletes who arrived later to football.

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 28, 2024


Minnesota WR Corey Crooms

.@CroomsCorey to the Cowboys!#Gophers x @dallascowboys

— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) April 28, 2024

Nevada DB Emany Johnson

Emany Johnson (@ball5islife) is headed to 𝑨𝑴𝑬𝑹𝑰𝑪𝑨’𝑺 𝑻𝑬𝑨𝑴#BattleBorn

— Nevada Football (@NevadaFootball) April 28, 2024


Missouri RB Nathaniel Peat

After draft concluded Saturday, the Cowboys agreed to terms with a rookie running back, Nathaniel Peat. He tested well at Missouri's pro day, including a 4.37-second 40-yard dash, 41-inch vertical and a 10-foot, 8-inch broad jump. Some explosion added to backfield competition.

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 28, 2024

Find more Cowboys coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

Michael Gehlken. Michael Gehlken joined the Cowboys beat for the Dallas Morning News in August 2019. This marks his 14th season covering the NFL, as he previously reported on the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. GehlkenNFL

Cowboys 2024 undrafted free agents: Dallas wins bidding war for promising tight end (2024)
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