Former University of Louisville and Male High School star wide receiver Montrell Jones is one of a dozen ex-college players trying to get a crack at the pros through Michael Irvin’s new reality show, “4th and Long,” which began filming this week in Dallas.
The players are living at the Cotton Bowl Stadium, with the locker rooms converted into dorms. They’ve been stripped of their cell phones, iPods, laptop computers and anything else that will let them communicate with the outside world.
Jones made it through a “combine” of prospective players, and spent the past couple of days working out with former U of L quarterback Hunter Cantwell.
The winner of the competition will receive a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ 80-man training roster.
A bit from an Associated Press story on the show (read the whole AP story by clicking here) . . .
Their days are spent going through meetings, sorts of drills and physical tests, on the field and in a weight room that includes a pool table and some sofas for relaxation. (The walls are covered with giant posters of Irvin, Jerry Jones, Troy Aikman and such. There also are posters with motivational messages, such as this one that seems strange considering Irvin’s on-field persona: “Don’t Be a Flash Player.”)
Other than a TV in the weight room and another in their living quarters, players are shut off from the outside world.
“No cell phones, no iPods, no laptops, no DVDs. Can’t call in, can’t call out,” defensive back Erick Jackson said. “They want us to focus strictly on football.”
If they get lonely, they can always talk into the “confession camera.”
Irvin will make all the cuts, with input from his coaches. He’s also arranged for appearances from Aikman, Jones, Emmitt Smith and more. Drew Pearson visited Tuesday night, telling his tale of going undrafted in a 17-round draft, then beating out about 100 rookies and enjoying a long career as Roger Staubach’s favorite target.
“If they don’t believe they can do it then we’re all wasting our time,” Irvin said. “You’ve got to let them see it to believe it.”
When Irvin announced plans for the show, he talked about finding guys whose NFL dreams were derailed for all sorts of reasons. After screening hundreds of applicants, then inviting about 45 to the Rose Bowl for a “combine,” the cast lacks any butchers or plumbers.
These guys are all bona fide athletes.
The show debuts May 18 on Spike. New episodes will run every Monday.