Community Life - Cleburne, TX June/July 2020 - Page 8

“It’s crazy [to be drafted by Dallas],” Robinson said. “My parents can make every game without having to travel across the country and that means a lot. A lot of people I know are big Cowboys fans. It just means a lot.” After Tulsa’s 2019 season concluded, Robinson was rarely mentioned on draft websites as a top-20 cornerback and was considered a sixth-round pick at best and likely an undrafted free agent, despite putting together one of the best seasons for a cornerback across the nation in 2019. But as the draft process went on — with strong showings at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine — Robinson climbed scouts’ big boards week by week, eventually cracking several “top 100 prospects” rankings. Leading up to the draft • First-team All-Conference • Four INTs, 17 passes defensed • 4.44 40-yard dash; 36-inch vertical jump at NFL Scouting Combine • First Tulsa defensive back in nearly 50 years invited to Senior Bowl • First Tulsa player selected in NFL draft since 2011 • First Cleburne player selected in NFL draft since 1976 In the days leading up to the draft, Robinson’s stock had climbed to the point where teams were rumored to possibly spend a third-round pick on the 6-foot-1 corner, so Friday had some anxious moments for Robinson and his family as day 2 of the draft came and went without the call. “On the first day, I was kind of chilling,” Robinson said. “I knew what rounds I was supposed to go so I was chilling and watching [the first round] like everybody else seeing who was going where. The second day I wasn’t really into it until I started hearing things, then I got anxious. [On Saturday] I wasn’t even watching the draft. I was just trying to stay calm.” However, the Robinson household didn’t stay calm after Robinson received the phone call from Jones. On the Dallas Cowboys’ Twitter account, they released audio of Jones’ phone call informing Robinson he would be a Cowboy. “I’m happy to call and tell you you’ve got you a Cowboys star on your helmet,” Jones said. “We’re just turning your card in. You had a great career up there at Tulsa. ... We’re excited about it. You’re now going to be a Dallas Cowboy. We’re picking you with this first pick today. You have lots of support. I want to personally congratulate you. I hope the NFL is as good to you as it’s been to me. We’re mighty proud of these Cowboys and I know you will be, too, and you’ll give it everything you’ve got.” After Jones welcomed Robinson to Dallas, first-year Cowboys Coach Mike McCarthy hopped on the phone. “Congratulations, man,” McCarthy told Robinson. “I’ll tell you, we were sitting there holding our breath. We were so scared we were going to lose you. This is a great fit for you, young man. I want to wish you and your family all the best and to enjoy this. This is a great moment for you. This is the start of a new beginning. So looking forward to working with you, young man. Congratulations and welcome to Dallas.” In the background of that phone call, the Robinson family’s celebration was noticeably audible. Robinson’s father, Reginald Robinson, said watching his son be selected in the NFL Draft was a surreal moment. “It’s definitely crazy,” Reginald Robinson said. “It was all kinds of emotions going from [Friday] thinking one thing and sitting here waiting for [Saturday]. We weren’t in the same room when he was drafted. I was in my man cave with my wife and daughter, and he was in the front watching TV. I could hear Jerry Jones’ voice on the phone before I saw him come into the room, and that’s when we all got excited and he basically told us to be quiet because he was trying to listen.” Reginald Robinson, an avid Steelers 8 Community Life