Holley, who played four years at North Carolina before brief stints with the Cincinnati Bengals and British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League, was working for a security monitoring company and selling cellphones. At 25, he believed his football career was over.
On Monday night, Holley, a wide receiver who was a member of the Tar Heels'
2005 national championship basketball team, was anointed the winner of Michael
Irvin's 4th and Long on Spike TV. His prize is the 80th and final roster spot when the Cowboys report to training camp in San Antonio on July 28. Holley is listed as 6-3, 215 pounds with 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash.
Irvin said that in addition to his physical abilities, Holley is one of the quickest learners he has seen. "He'd pick up things immediately," Irvin said. "If I am a coach and I see him implement something right away, I know I have a player."
Just before Irvin's verdict, Jones told the three finalists, "If one of you is the
ballplayer that Michael and Joe and Bill say, you've got a chance be here. Clear
your Sunday afternoon calendar cause you are going to be spending it out here
with a big star on your helmet."
Holley will be the 11th wide receiver in camp. The Cowboys likely will keep five. Veterans Roy Williams, Miles Austin, Sam Hurd and Patrick Crayton appear to be safe bets to make the team. He will have to prove himself an invaluable special teams player. "Outside of Roy Williams, I'm not looking at a guy that is head and shoulders above Jesse," Irvin said.
The holdover receivers might take exception to Avezzano, the former Cowboys
special teams coach, who during the finale said, "Holley is a flat-out solid
receiver and can be better than some of the backups the Cowboys have right
In my humble opinion that is just what THE PLAYMAKER did, he gave the Cowboys Jesse Holley, former Tarheel standout, and he will make that team and I for one cannot wait to see him play with that star on his helmet.