Home Team News 4th And Long For Jesse Holley To Make The Cut

4th And Long For Jesse Holley To Make The Cut

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Jesse Holley is now the latest member of the Dallas Cowboys. Who you say? That’s right Jesse Holley! Thanks to the Michael Irvin show 4th and Long The Cowboys now have another man on the roster, the question is though will he stick? or is he just the product of another marketing gimmick?

I will tell you straight up that I watched only the first episode of 4th and Long! Not because it was a bad show (although it was not a show that made me want to put the DVR to use) but more because it was just too damn gimmicky for me.

So who is Jesse Holley? Well I do not know just a ton about him, but what I do know is not all that glamorous.

Jesse was a two sport player at the University of North Carolina from 2003 – 2006, was a member of the 04’-05’ National Championship basketball team. He was a very solid Wide Receiver for the Tar heels, played all fours years that he was there.

In 2007 Holley was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was then released by the team at the end of Training camp only to be signed to the practice squad. Jesse lasted one month on the practice squad before being released.

In 2008 Jesse signed on to play for the BC Lions of the CFL. After the teams first Pre Season game (one month later) He was released.

Basically Jesse Holley is the same as a million other solid collegiate athletes with dreams of being a Pro, but now his dream is a reality thanks to Spike T.V.?????

I have a question for all of you that I need help answering. Can anybody tell me who was the last player (that went undrafted, unable to stick on a practice squad, and unable to make it in the CFL) that has been talked about this much?

My partner and I had a… well let’s call it a discussion yesterday about this situation, and well… Let’s just say our thoughts were not anywhere near the same!

Bryson watched the series from beginning to end, and had nothing but good to say about Jesse and his abilities. While I respect his opinion on the matter I strongly disagreed with his synopsis. He told me about how he was a big and physical receiver with good hands and the ability to go up and get a jump ball. He also told me how he thought “he may be a good addition for us” and “he may be able to take Stanback’s spot”.

It was about this time that the “discussion” got a little more heated. Not because I think Stanback is such a great receiver, but because I simply cannot comprehend how a guy who cannot make a CFL roster can come in and be a better player than a guy who has stuck on an NFL roster for 3 years!

The argument will always be “NFL scouts do make mistakes and miss on players, just look at Tom Brady” and while that is accurate to an extent, name me a player who has been a contributing player in the NFL that was unable to stay on a practice squad and unable to make a CFL roster.

Every year NFL teams bring in players this time of year that will never play a down in a regular season game, simply to fill roster spots at training camp.

It takes a very special athlete to be able to make and then stay on a NFL roster, Any NFL roster! If you have ever played a sport then you know that there are two kinds of players. (1) Overly Gifted (2) Under Gifted.

For the overly gifted athlete things come easy to them and they are generally stand out players, the great ones have the same work ethic as the guy who has less talent and has to rely on his determination, and hard work.

The under gifted player while he has talent he MUST work harder than everyone else, and he MUST be involved with his sport of choice on a continuous basis (playing on a year in year out basis) as this player simply would fall way behind his competitors if he took a year off.

Jesse Holley falls into the Under Gifted category, while I am sure he has some very nice talents, the fact remains he has not played in almost 2 years and was not very good then! I would like nothing better than to see this kid come into camp and set the world on fire and prove me wrong!

The problem that I have with this show is simple, a guy has become a member of the Dallas Cowboys and thrust into the spotlight for no other reason than because he was on a T.V. show! And better still because he competed against other players who cannot make an NFL roster and shined against them, this show has given Cowboy fans a severely skewed opinion of their talents.

Without this show no one would care about anyone of these guys! Much less believe any of them could “add” anything to this team! Or believe they could take a job away from a veteran NFL player.

Just to put it in perspective, I played Football and Baseball all my life and was never anymore than an average player. When I got into my twenties I started playing in a local Softball Beer league. I was and am a decent player but by no means a “Pro” but every time I have played against people that were not very good I looked like a “Bad Ass” player. The contestants on this show are no different!

These contestants performed against the likes of Semi-Pro players (your Beer League of the Football world) and cast away Arena League players. Frankly these guys should look like superb football players, but many of them did not! The two that did make it to the finals did look the part, but one of those was only 5’7”! And by all accounts if he had not been a midget(pardon me vertically challenged) he would have won the competition.

In the end, I have done nothing but waste your time and mine writing about a guy that more than likely will end up like all the other late invitees to a NFL camp, released and never heard from again!

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  • Jonathan

    There are only a few holes in your argument:

    One, you are assuming the reason Jesse could not catch on with the Bengals and then in the CFL was because he did not have the ability to excel in those mediums, when in all actuality, there could be several reasons why he was released. His attitude may have been in the wrong place, he may have not gotten along with the coaches, and/or he may have decided he didn’t like being on the practice squad or in the CFL and unconsciously sabotaged himself. The second issue with your argument is that was Jesse Holley then, and this is Jesse Holley now. He may have been out of shape then, but he defintely isn’t now. The routes he runs may have been garbage then, but they are definitely crisp now. His hands may have been suspect then, but velcro is jealous of them now.

    I’m not saying he’s going to make the team, or even the practice squad. And you are right, the competition he was playing against wasn’t on the same level as he and Hawkins were. But that shouldn’t take too much away from what Bryson and I both saw with our own eyes: The guy can make the acrobatic catch. The guy can lay the wood pretty well for a receiver. The guy has great body control, which grants him the ability to jump up and turn to make the catch, as long as the QB puts the ball within arm reach of his body. The guy knows how to use his body to wall off the defender.

    My only complaint, is he’s more of the same WR’s we have on the team. He’s in the mold of Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd; a possession receiver. I agree with you, though…had Hawkins been a little bit taller, he would have won. But that doesn’t mean that Holley can’t play in the NFL. It just means that Dallas has more of a need for someone who can stretch the field than someone who can be relied on to catch the ball.

    • bags030404

      I will agree with you on a few of your points, I am assuming some things. Maybe he had some attitude issues, or problems with coaches or whatever, but talent has always meant more in the NFL than attitude. I can only go by what I have read about the guy and I gave his past a very good look, and what I have found is this. In Cincinnati he was given a prime opportunity to make that team (outside of their 2 starters they had a ton less than Dallas does now) he was in competition with the likes of Skyler Green, Reggie McNeal, and 3 other nobodies (and 2 of the nobodies had injuries and could not practice) and he was released in favor of Marcus Maxwell???
      Then with the CFL team he was cut along with several other Receivers due to their “sloppy and unprofessional play”! Neither of these are glowing endorsements for the guy, but you are right a guy can make a TON of changes to his play and life in a year.
      The whole point I am driving is this show is giving a guy a chance that no one or no team would, so why is that? because he is good? or simply because he was on the show? I hope he is good, I hope he makes the team, I hope he is the second coming of Jerry Rice, but I am not going to hold my breath!

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  • http://www.brysontreece.com Bryson Treece

    And that was my actual point. Well said Jonathan.

    The guy has shown enough from that show for me to think it’s actually possible for him to make the team. It’s just going to depend a lot on how well he contributes to special teams, and whether he can do the same things in San Antonio that he did in Dallas.

  • Jonathan

    Bags: He is definitely no Jerry Rice. Jerry was under that rare classification of player that is both naturally gifted and works extremely hard to be the best, despite his ability. I am convinced, though, that Holley can compete in the NFL. But as I pointed out above, I’m not sure that he is any better than any of the other players competing for that 5th spot. But having Michael Irvin tutor him from the actual end of the show up until training camp could change that. If I recall correctly, that was another part of the package the winner of the show received.

    While I’ll agree at time’s in the tenure of the NFL talent was valued over attitude, I’m not sure that is the case in today’s league. It really depends on how bad of an attitude a team has to put up with, and rather or not the talent offsets the bad. It also depends on the organization and more specifically, rather or not the coach can tolerate that type of player. Regardless, my overall point is I think Holley may pleasantly suprise if given an equal opportunity to excel. But that “if” is big, because currently the Cowboy’s roster bost 11, and several of those are already pet project’s of the coaches, namely Stanback. Personally, with the limited time I have seen Stanback with the rock in his hand’s, I’m really pulling for him to finally prove he can stay healthy, because he definitely has the moves. The good news is, with that position being termed as weak by many mediots and analyst, Holley’s addition can only help intensify the competition to ensure the Cowboy’s final 5 or 6 receivers are the product of very tough competition, before the season even begins. I can’t wait.

  • bags030404

    While the league is changing as far as attitude and talent are concerned, let us not forget he was with the Bengals! And if any team has been late to the party for attitude adjustments it has been the Bengals and our beloved Boys! I have watched a lot of Stanback and while he needs some work he is a very gifted individual but for whatever reason some people are more prone to injury, it is not due to him being lazy or anything like that. Lets be honest the Cowboys have kept him on the team this long for a reason, not just cause! If (and I realize that “if frogs had glass balls they would not bump their ass when they hopped”) he can stay healthy he could very easily become one of the teams top 3 receivers, he has all the tools and the want to! Do not get me wrong Johnathan I do not have anything against the guy, my gripes are with the way he is getting there! For me he is a guy that has already had two chances the last 3 years and failed to take advantage of those chances!

  • Jonathan

    Bags: It’s an ever-changing league. Who knows, this method of hand picking several players around the league for a few position’s of need to have them compete together to determine the best of the crop might become a second draft for the league.

    Think about it.

    The draft is not the end-all be-all of determining who is worthy of playing in the NFL. Some guys may need to be afforded more time to make the adjustment from college to the NFL. They may need to learn more about the game. They may need to put on more weight to be effective in their perspective position. Whatever the reason for why a guy is not ready to make that transition, I do believe that diamonds can be found in the rough. I believe because I’ve seen it happen several times throughout the league’s history; and in those cases their perspective searches were typically limited to their locality. This search was national, and the time they took to determine who was worthy was far more extensive by comparison to the weekend that is usually spent to find players.

    I’m waiting for the search to become international. Basketball has found their gems. Baseball has recruited from other countries. Why not football? Granted, these guys would have to receive extensive coaching to get caught up to guys who have played since gradeschool, but if they can handle the physical rigors of the game and they are quick learners, why not give them a shot? Furthermore, that approach would make football even more popular throughout the world. Honestly, I think this shift in recruiting is inevitable.

  • http://www.brysontreece.com Bryson Treece

    Jonathan – you just gave me my new favorite word … Mediots. Bravo!

  • Jonathan

    Actually, Bryson, I can’t claim to be the originator of that particular word, though, I couldn’t tell you were I read it first. Though, considering our local media, it does fit.

  • Wes

    Call me crazy, but I seem to remember a guy who got into the UFC solely because of a reality show. How’s Forrest Griffin doing these days anyway?

    I’m not saying that Jesse will make the roster, but Forrest got laughed at for being in the UFC because of The Ultimate Fighter, and there isn’t much laughter going on now. The Ultimate Fighter has become a legitimate way to break into the UFC because soo many of them have gone on to be successful after the show. So, I think it is just a tad bit unfair to make the comment “Without this show no one would care about anyone of these guys!” Like someone said earlier, the show could become a second draft option for teams.

    Finally, the only reason I am even paying attention to training camp, outside of cut tickers, is because of this guy. Regardless of whether he makes the team or not, the Cowboys are getting their money’s worth. Here’s a novel idea, give the dude a chance and see if people can change and grow.

    • bags030404

      You lost me on all the UFC stuff, never watched it and have no idea who you are talking about. As far as Holley goes like I said in the post, I hope he tears up Camp and makes the team! What I am not going to do is spend any time talking about how great he can be. He has a ton to prove, so lets just see what he can do, then we can come back and reevaluate.

  • Derreck

    I have a few names for you: Kurt Warner, Willie Parker (also a NC product who did not even start!), and Nate Washington (2 Super Bowl Rings).

    Good stories happen all the time. Sometimes you just need to be given the right opportunity. I believe he will seize it.

    • bags030404

      So far things are not looking good for him, as he is being consistently outplayed by Mike Jefferson and Kevin Ogletree.

  • Randy Johnson

    I think that one of the best points I have heard is that Holley dominated a group of Practice Squad, Arena League, CFL “maybe” types. While superior to anyone NOT in the NFL, namely 99.9% of the viewing audience, he is just another guy out there on the fringes of simply having a chance.

    The good counterpoint to that is perhaps he was not right in the head in the past as far as dedication. Perhaps he was too slow in realizing that he reached a point when the talent level was as good or better and others in and around the same skill set out-worked him and/or had a better attitude.

    Not all, but for the most part, the 4th and Long contestants needed attitude adjustments. Hawkins–the 5’7″ “mighty mite” fellow was as worthy of a shot as Holley. But he is seen as too small. Small guys make it in the NFL but they are usually spectacular or are over-the-top with speed or quickness not just “above average”. Barry Sanders, Darryl Green, Dave Meggett, James Brooks, Lionel “Little Train” James, Darren Sproles, and a dozen or so that I can’t remember–but again, there isn’t a lot of them.

  • Justin Kelm

    I’m from Crosby,TX and I love the Texans & hate the Cowboys but when i read this story i didn’t care what team it was. Its a guy trying to survive. I hope he makes the team or practice squad. Hope to see him on TV tonight against the Titans. Go Texans!!!!!

    • bags030404

      Thanks for the comment Justin! I wish the man the best of luck as well, but the agenda behind this story was more about why a guy that wins a T.V. show gets more press than just the average NFL hopeful, who has more talent than he. Every year in the NFL there are probably hundreds of undrafted collegiate players trying to make teams, and there is zero national media covering them.