Remembering past Cowboy position changes

Linebacker Randy White

1st round pick LB Randy White, out of Maryland, spent two fruitless years trying to be a good linebacker. He was switched to defensive tackle, and became known as the Manster. He’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Defensive Tackle Blaine Nye

5th round pick in 1968, Nye played primarily on special teams his first two seasons. In 1970, he switched to offensive guard. He was named All-Pro in 1972, and named to the Pro Bowl in 1976. He retired after the 1976 season, after helping the Cowboys to three Super Bowls. He was replaced in 1977 by Tom Rafferty.

Defensive Tackle Pat Donovan

Donovan, drafted in the 4th round, was switched to offensive tackle in 1975, and played backup his first two seasons. Ultimately, he became the starting Left Tackle for the Cowboys, was selected to 4 Pro Biels, and helped the Cowboys win a Super Bowl in the 1977 season. He helped pave the way for Tony Dorset’s HOF career.

Defensive Tackle Mark Tuinei

Although drafted in the USFL, Tuinei opted to sign an undrafted free agent contract, made the team as a defensive tackle in 1983. After spending two years playing mostly on special teams, he switched to Oline, and played all 3 positions. He ultimately settled in at Left Tackle, and was part of the Great Wall of Dallas, leading the Cowboys to three Super Bowls in the 90’s, and blocking for 4 rushing titles by HOF RB Emmitt Smith

I’m sure there are many others I am leaving out, that other Forum members can add to this list. I guess my point is that a player switching positions is not necessarily a bad thing. The Cowboys have had multiple Pro Bowl players who didn’t play in the positions they were drafted in. Trevon Diggs was a WR in college who transitioned to CB. Micah Parsons was a RB, then LB, and he is transitioning to DE. So let’s keep an open mind when the coaching staff decides to ask a player to try a new position. It may just work out for the benefit of both the player and the team.

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