Cowboys Audition CBs DeAndre Baker, Gareon Conley

Neither DeAndre Baker nor Gareon Conley‘s initial NFL runs lasted too long. Both first-round picks did not play a fourth NFL season, but each wound up in the UFL. Spring leagues have provided a springboard for second chances, and the Cowboys — who have led the way in value gained from the recent batch of American minor football leagues — are looking into both players.

NFL teams cannot sign UFL players until next week, as the merged league’s championship game is set for Sunday, but workouts are permitted this week. Several UFLers are receiving chances with NFL teams, and’s Todd Archer indicates the Cowboys are taking a look at Baker and Conley at their minicamp this week.

A 2017 Raiders first-round pick, Conley will turn 29 later this month. He has not played in an NFL game since Week 15 of the 2019 season. Conley spent the 2020 season on the Texans’ IR list. Houston had acquired Conley via trade from Oakland in October 2019. The Raiders had used the former No. 24 overall pick as a starter in every game that season leading up to the trade deadline but unloaded him for a third-round pick. This came early during the Jon Gruden-Mike Mayock years; Conley arrived during the Raiders’ final Reggie McKenzie-run draft.

Like Conley, Baker wound up with a second team after washing out early with the club that drafted him. An arrest led the Giants to waive Baker, a 2019 first-round pick, before the 2020 season. Robbery charges against the young cornerback ended up being dropped, and the Chiefs took a flier on the struggling defender. Baker played in 10 Chiefs games from 2020-21; the team waived him in August 2022. Baker allowed six touchdown passes as the closest defender in a 15-start rookie season.

Both Baker, 26, and Conley caught on with the D.C. Defenders before the inaugural UFL season. Conley intercepted two passes this season, while Baker landed on the All-UFL team last week. Neither player played in the XFL or USFL in 2023. The Cowboys have benefited considerably from the latter league, with both KaVontae Turpin and Brandon Aubrey becoming Pro Bowlers in their first seasons in Dallas. Aubrey earned first-team All-Pro recognition in his Cowboys debut.

Dallas is also working out the UFL’s tackles leader, Willie Harvey Jr., per’s Tom Pelissero. The St. Louis Battlehawks defender totaled 76 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and nine tackles for loss this season. Harvey, 28, previously saw NFL time with the Browns from 2019-21, playing in just four games as a backup. Cleveland cut Harvey after its 2022 training camp. The Cowboys will see if Harvey’s UFL work has made him a better candidate for an NFL role.

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