Welcome to the Dallas Cowboys

May 13, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.


IOWA CITY, Iowa — Anthony Hitchens is comfortable on the move.

He was as a member of the University of Iowa football team, moving from safety to running back before sticking at linebacker.

He stayed on the move this week, going from Iowa City to Lorain, Ohio, back to Iowa City, and then to Dallas, where he begins a career as a professional football player.

“I’m more excited, not really nervous,” Hitchens said. “I’m going to keep doing what I have been doing, working hard and showing up every day. I’m ready to get back to work.”

Hitchens was drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round with the 119th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft on May 10, joining two other Hawkeyes as draft picks. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz was selected by Houston with the first pick of the third round and linebacker Christian Kirksey was taken six picks later by Cleveland.

Moments after Hitchens was drafted, a video on dallascowboys.com was released, showing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, head coach Jason Garrett, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, and linebackers coach Matt Eberflus speaking to the Hawkeye.

“This is Jerry Jones…welcome to being a Dallas Cowboy. We’re excited about it. By the way, we have a special teams coach (Rich Bisaccia) who laid in front of the train for you, so whatever you do, you’re going to have to be the best special teams player we got.”
Jerry Jones
Cowboys owner

(Click HERE to watch the video.)

“This is Jerry Jones…welcome to being a Dallas Cowboy. We’re excited about it,” said Jones. “By the way, we have a special teams coach (Rich Bisaccia) who laid in front of the train for you, so whatever you do, you’re going to have to be the best special teams player we got.”

Jones handed the phone to Garrett.

“You’re our kind of guy.”

Garrett handed the phone to Marinelli.

“We like you, now. Bring some of that Iowa toughness, all right? Everyone we talked to thinks the world of you.”

Marinelli handed to the phone to Eberflus.

“My good buddy is (UI defensive coordinator) Phil Parker. We worked together for 10 years at the University of Toledo. I’m glad to have you because you like to run and you like to hit.”

Hitchens has not watched the video that went viral among Hawkeye nation over the weekend. He said family members have viewed it and rated thumbs up.

“They’re America’s Team, just like the Yankees in baseball,” Hitchens said of Dallas, which won Super Bowl titles in 1971, ’77, ’92, ’93, and ’95. “Everyone knows the Cowboys.”

Last season Dallas finished 8-8, second in the NFC East Division. Hitchens was the third player taken by the Cowboys in 2014, following offensive tackle Zack Martin of Notre Dame and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence of Boise State.

Hitchens watched the draft at home with his mother and brothers.

“It didn’t seem real until C.J. and Chris went on Friday,” Hitchens said. “That’s when I knew this was really happening. When Saturday came, my agent (Jack Bechta) told me to stay patient and I would have a team by the end of the day. Sure enough, the Cowboys called.”

Two days after being selected in the NFL Draft, Hitchens was back in Iowa City taking two final exams. He has one more Tuesday. On Wednesday he will pack his belongings and Thursday he arrives in Big D.

Hitchens said his three position changes at the University of Iowa helped him grow quicker than the average college football player.

“I always had confidence in my goals,” Hitchens said. “I just tried to get better, stay focused, and kept working at whatever position they put me.”

Hitchens is the seventh Hawkeye linebacker to play under head coach Kirk Ferentz to be drafted. The most recent draft marks the third time since 2006 that multiple Iowa linebackers were selected in the same year. Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge were taken in 2006, Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds in 2010, and Kirksey and Hitchens in 2014.

It has been 30 years since the Cowboys drafted someone from the UI: Norm Granger went in the fifth round and Joe Levelis in the sixth in 1984.

2014 NFL Draft
Round 3 C.J. Fiedorowicz Houston Tight end
Round 3 Christian Kirksey Cleveland Linebacker
Round 4 Anthony Hitchens Dallas Linebacker
2013 NFL Draft
Round 5 Micah Hyde Green Bay Defensive back
2012 NFL Draft
Round 1 Riley Reiff Detroit Offensive line
Round 4 Mike Daniels Green Bay Defensive line
Round 5 Adam Gettis Washington Offensive line
Round 5 Shaun Prater Cincinnati Defensive back
Round 6 Marvin McNutt Philadelphia Wide receiver
Round 7 Jordan Bernstine Washington Defensive back
2011 NFL Draft
Round 1 Adrian Clayborn Tampa Bay Defensive end
Round 4 Christian Ballard Minnesota Defensive line
Round 5 Ricky Stanzi Kansas City Quarterback
Round 5 Karl Klug Tennessee Defensive line
Round 5 Julian Vandervelde Philadelphia Offensive line
Round 6 Tyler Sash New York Giants Defensive back
2010 NFL Draft
Round 1 Bryan Bulaga Green Bay Offensive line
Round 2 Pat Angerer Indianapolis Linebacker
Round 3 Amari Spievey Detroit Defensive back
Round 3 Tony Moeaki Kansas City Tight end
Round 4 A.J. Edds Miami Linebacker
Round 7 Kyle Calloway Buffalo Offensive line
2009 NFL Draft
Round 3 Shonn Greene New York Jets Running back
Round 3 Bradley Fletcher St. Louis Defensive back
Round 4 Seth Olsen Denver Offensive line
Round 6 Brandon Myers Oakland Tight end
2008 NFL Draft
Round 3 Charles Godfrey Carolina Defensive back
Round 4 Kenny Iwebema Arizona Defensive end
Round 6 Mike Humpal Pittsburgh Linebacker
2007 NFL Draft
Round 3 Marshal Yanda Baltimore Offensive line
Round 4 Scott Chandler San Diego Tight end
Round 7 Mike Elgin New England Offensive line
2006 NFL Draft
Round 1 Chad Greenway Minnesota Linebacker
Round 3 Abdul Hodge Green Bay Linebacker
2005 NFL Draft
Round 2 Matt Roth Miami Defensive end
Round 2 Jonathan Babineaux Atlanta Defensive line
Round 4 Sean Considine Philadelphia Defensive back
Round 6 Tony Jackson Seattle Tight end
Round 6 Pete McMahon Oakland Offensive line
2004 NFL Draft
Round 1 Robert Gallery Oakland Offensive line
Round 2 Bob Sanders Indianapolis Defensive back
Round 3 Nate Kaeding San Diego Place kicker
Round 7 Jared Clauss Tennessee Defensive line
Round 7 Erik Jensen St. Louis Tight end
2003 NFL Draft
Round 1 Dallas Clark Indianapolis Tight end
Round 2 Eric Steinbach Cincinnati Offensive line
Round 2 Bruce Nelson Carolina Center
Round 5 Derek Pagel New York Jets Defensive back
Round 5 Ben Sobieski Buffalo Offensive line
2002 NFL Draft
Round 2 Ladell Betts Washington Running back
Round 5 Aaron Kampman Green Bay Defensive line
Round 6 Kahlil Hill Atlanta Wide receiver
2001 NFL Draft
Round 6 Kevin Kasper Denver Wide receiver
2000 NFL Draft
Round 5 Austin Wheatley New Orleans Tight end
Round 6 Matt Bowen St. Louis Defensive back