Casey Pachall grew up a Houston Oilers fan, but that didn’t stop the former TCU quarterback from being captivated by Jerry Jones during his introduction to the Dallas Cowboys owner.
“He’s full of energy, full of passion and loves the game,” Pachall said. “That’s obvious by the way he talks. He seems like an awesome guy.”
Pachall was among four quarterbacks at the Cowboys’ annual Dallas Day. The Cowboys invited some 50 local players to work out at Valley Ranch on Thursday.
SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert, Miami defensive back Kacy Rodgers (Southlake Carroll), Missouri quarterback James Franklin (Lake Dallas), Stanford defensive lineman Josh Mauro (Hurst L.D. Bell), Texas receiver Mike Davis (Dallas Skyline) and Texas A&M running back Ben Malena (Cedar Hill) were among notable names invited.
The quarterbacks, including former Angelo State standout Josh Neiswander (Winnsboro), a part of the 2012 draft, threw for Cowboys coaches, including head coach Jason Garrett, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson and play-caller Scott Linehan. They all hoped to leave a good impression on the Cowboys, who signed Brandon Weeden this off-season but likely will add a young quarterback to the mix.
“I feel like it went pretty well,” Pachall said. “I had a good day throwing the ball, and overall, I think it was a good day.”
Pachall went 17-6 as a starter at TCU, completing 62.9 percent of his passes for 5,415 yards and 42 touchdowns. Off-field problems in 2012 and a broken left arm last season limited him to only 11 games the past two seasons.
Still, Pachall is hopeful for a chance in the NFL. He has had one other team visit, which he declined to reveal, and hopes for others before the draft.
“I’m just a little anxious,” Pachall said. “Hopefully a team will give me an opportunity, either by drafting me or as a free agent. There’s nothing set in stone. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I just hope I’ve left a great impression on those guys and anybody else that I’ll be able to meet with, so someone will give me a shot.”
Most of the prospects — who ran the 40 and did position drills — grew up Cowboys fans and left Valley Ranch dreaming of returning in May.
“I was always like a low-key Cowboys fan,” said North Texas defensive end Aaron Bellazin, who played at Everman. “I was like, ‘What’s so good about the Cowboys?’ Really, I always wanted to see them win, but it was always, ‘They can never get over that hump.’ I admit I’ve got Cowboys attire. People are like, ‘You’re a Cowboys fan.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I kind of am.’
“It was pretty cool to go up there.”
Other players at the workouts: SMU cornerback Kenneth Acker, TCU safety Elisha Olabode, Missouri safety Matt White (Keller), North Texas linebacker Zach Orr (DeSoto), Nebraska cornerback Ciante Evans (Arlington Seguin), Abilene Christian receiver Taylor Gabriel (Mesquite), Kansas running back James Sims (Irving MacArthur), Baylor OT Kelvin Palmer (Dallas Adamson) and Tarleton State CB Dashaun Phillips (Duncanville).