IRVING, Texas – If Ben Bass did not live in Plano, Texas, it’s doubtful he would have received an invite to the Cowboys’ rookie minicamp following the draft.
Now he is on the active roster.
The Cowboys called up Bass from the practice squad Wednesday and placed Kenyon Coleman on injured reserve with a torn triceps.
“I really didn’t know how the entire process worked, as far as being called as (an undrafted) free agent,” Bass said. “I thought you’d get called immediately after the draft. I didn’t know anything about getting called on Monday, so that Monday I was actually getting prepared to make a resumé and get out into the real world and work a 9-to-5 and all that other stuff.”
At 6-foot-5, 283 pounds, Bass had the look of an NFL player, but he did not excel at Texas A&M. He started one game as a senior with two sacks. As a junior he had seven tackles and a sack in 13 games.
But that height and weight earned a call from the Cowboys. He turned an invite to the rookie camp into a contract and training camp invite. He continued to show promise that led the team to keep him on the practice squad after the final cuts.
“Great example of guy, came in presented with an opportunity,” coach Jason Garrett said. “You try to draft guys as well as you can draft them, then you sign guys as well as you can sign them after and you think you know more about some than the other guys. We liked him, but from Day 1 he came in and showed us be belonged here in some way, shape or form.
"He really took advantage of the opportunities. He learned. He grew before our eyes and just made a lot of plays both defending the run and also rushing the passer. He’s the guy, kind of came from nowhere, certainly from obscurity and showed us he deserved to be on this football team.”
Bass admitted he tried to act calm and cool when the Cowboys told him of the promotion, but he was excited on the inside.
With Coleman out and Sean Lissemore likely out with a high ankle sprain, the Cowboys need Bass to do more than just occupy a roster spot.
“I’m coming up to play, like take a legit amount of snaps because we’re down a couple of people,” Bass said.