Defensive end Bradlee Anae made the 53-man roster for the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday. The rookie out of Kahuku and the University of Utah is now officially set for his first NFL season.
Despite the road in realizing a lifelong goal, Anae feels as though it’s just the beginning of his journey.
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“Once I got to Dallas, I had a goal in mind to make the team, to get on special teams, to contribute whether later in the season or just get into that rotation,” Anae said. “I’m excited, I’m beyond ecstatic. Still don’t think it’s real but it’s here and it’s coming and it’s go time so I’m excited and I can’t wait to get on the field and just do what I do and hopefully make an impact on the game and represent Hawaii.”
Anae joins a Cowboys squad that has high expectations for the season. The defensive line in particular one of the strengths of the team, with star veterans such as DeMarcus Lawrence, Everson Griffen and Aldon Smith manning the front seven. Earlier during camp, Anae says he’s been like a sponge trying to absorb as much wisdom he can from the players in front of him on the depth chart.
Anae was the final pick of the fifth round in April’s NFL Draft, a disappointing slide after early projections had him going as high as the second or third round. He’s produced at every level he’s played at, from being an All-State defensive lineman at Kahuku and a consensus All-American at Utah. Anae arrived in Dallas with fire in his belly and his eager to show he was worthy of a higher selection.
“I have a lot of veteran guys in front of me to learn from and stuff but when they do give you those chances, the mindset is just always taking advantage of it, going there and don’t leave any gas in the tank, empty it out, and so that’s my mindset going forward,” he said. “Just all gas, no brakes type of mentality. One speed.”