David Porter packed light but has chance for longer stay

OXNARD, Calif. -- David Porter did not know what to pack when he came in for a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys last Saturday night.

A couple of T-shirts and shorts. Some sneakers. It all fit in a small carry-on suitcase. But he also brought some nice clothes, just in case he needed them to board a plane for a preseason game if the workout went well.

“I kind of just brought the things I really needed,” Porter said.

The workout went well enough for the Cowboys to sign him. His performance has gone well enough that he might be sticking around a lot longer than just training camp.

After working out for the Cowboys at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, he signed and was on the practice field four hours later. By the midway point of his first practice, he had three touchdown catches.

“It was one of the great debuts I’ve ever seen in my life,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s someone that we liked coming in obviously to bring him in for the workout. And we’re glad we did.”

The Denver Broncos cut Porter last week. He was home for three days, waiting for a phone call from another team. As he waited, he continued to work out, running and doing footwork drills.

“It seemed like [the call] was never going to come,” Porter said, “but I’m really glad it did come.”

The Cowboys had Porter, who caught 74 passes for 954 yard and 10 touchdowns in his career at TCU, in for a workout last spring before the draft. They liked him but liked George Farmer, Lucky Whitehead, Nick Harwell, Deontay Greenberry and Antwan Goodley more as undrafted receivers.

He replaced Farmer, who was guaranteed $55,000 by the Cowboys, on the roster.

The fact that Porter was in a training camp was a big reason the Cowboys signed him. They knew he would be in shape. Porter said the altitude in Denver helped his conditioning.

“A lot of guys are on the street right now,” Garrett said. “And when they get an opportunity, they get a phone call late at night and say, ‘Hey can you be in Oxnard, California, tomorrow for an 11:30 workout?’ and the guy says that I have these aspirations, I have these dreams to do this. But he’s not really ready for that opportunity. David clearly was and he came in and he worked out real well and integrated himself into a football practice in the NFL really quickly and has done some good things in his short stay so far.”

On Tuesday, Porter was working with the first team on special teams on the punt return unit, which is a sign he will have an ample chance to make the final roster.

But first things first, he needs more clothes.

“I’m going to have my dad send me a few,” Porter said.