Lucky Whitehead admitted the nerves will be running high the next couple of days, but he feels like he’s earned a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ 53-man roster.
“I feel great about it,” Whitehead said. “I definitely think I had a great performance tonight, and I think I did everything I could. It’s not in my hands anymore.”
That’s right. Whitehead’s fate lies in the hands of the Cowboys’ coaching staff and front office.
He had been the presumed favorite to win the fifth receiver/ returner role, drawing praise from owner Jerry Jones, but then dealt with fumbling issues. It became enough of a concern, in fact, that Whitehead lost his No. 1 return duties in the third preseason game to Cole Beasley on punts and Lance Dunbar on kickoffs.
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But Whitehead was the top returner Thursday against the Texans, and flashed potential. He had a long punt return of 33 yards in the second half, dancing down the sidelines.
“Coach was like, you can fair catch, or if you get time, just go ahead and take it,” Whitehead said. “As soon as he said take it, I was going to take it anyways. It definitely was a good return and I’m glad I got to showcase what I’m able to do back there.”
Whitehead also had a 31-yard kickoff return. For the game, he averaged 13.8 yards on five punt returns, and 28 yards on two kickoff returns.
Whitehead hopes he’s shown enough as a returner and a receiver to make the team, but likely won’t know until 3 p.m. Saturday when rosters are due.
“Of course it’s going to be stressful because it’s not in your hands anymore,” Whitehead said. “But I feel like I put in a lot of hard work and I just want to show them I belong here. It’s not up to be anymore. I’ve just got to sit back and wait.”