Darrin Moore was shocked and disappointed when his cell phone remained silent through the final afternoon of the NFL draft and into the evening.
Not even a ring?
“Not even a ring,” the former Texas Tech wide receiver said.
Moore’s still not sure if he was simply deemed not good enough by NFL teams or if maybe he was a victim of bad timing. On Thursday night, hours after he accepted a minicamp invitation from the Dallas Cowboys — which he’s thrilled with, by the way — he wondered if he’d missed a shot with another team five days before.
“Come to find out, one of the Sprint towers was down near my house,” Moore said, relating Saturday’s events. “I couldn’t receive calls or make any calls. Even if a team did call me, I wouldn’t have got it. That’s stressful if I missed out on a call.”
Moore had a productive senior season for Tech, catching 92 passes for 1,032 yards and 13 touchdowns. No one projected him as more than a late pick or a free agent, but no calls at all seemed strange, too.
NFL teams each dial a bundle of potential free agents during the final day of the draft, before the selections conclude.
Teammates such as safety Cody Davis, quarterback Seth Doege and offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle each had multiple free-agent offers from which to choose, having to make up their minds shortly after the draft concluded on Saturday.
“The last hour of the draft is really hectic, because all of the free-agent deals are done within a half hour,” said Davis, who had 11 offers. “My phone was going crazy, and I was trying to figure everything out on the fly and make a decision.”
Moore said his agent called Saturday morning and they discussed worse-case scenarios if he didn’t get drafted. After that, he didn’t realize anything was amiss until about an hour after the draft when he began receiving text messages from friends, some wondering why he hadn’t responded to them.
“With me not answering the phone, (teams) could have easily gone down their list and picked who they wanted next,” Moore said. “It’s still a mystery if I got a call or not.”
In any event, Moore’s wait ended Thursday with an invitation from the Cowboys, his hometown team, to attend minicamp. He reports next Thursday.
Naturally, for someone who graduated from Irving MacArthur, having a chance to suit up with the Cowboys is a dream scenario. Moore said his room at his mother’s house is “Cowboys wallpaper, Cowboys pictures.”
In two games at Cowboys Stadium the last two years against Baylor, he caught 19 passes for 260 yards and four touchdowns.
“I feel great about the opportunity,” he said. “The draft was pretty stressful. Everybody wants to get their name called. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen to me. At the time, I was expecting at least a call after the draft or a free-agent signing, and that didn’t happen. I’ve been working, and I’m glad to get the opportunity now.”
Moore’s offer was for minicamp only. That means he’ll go in on a make-good basis, trying to convince the Cowboys in a matter of days that he’s worth taking to preseason camp in July.
“I feel like I’m just as good as a lot of players who got drafted and players who signed free-agent deals,” Moore said. “I’m going there with a chip on my shoulder. I’ve got something to prove to the world, to the Cowboys, to everybody.”
Follow Don on Twitter