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Dallas Cowboys executive says there is ‘no conspiracy’ against HBCU players


Photo: Dallas Cowboys

Isaiah Bolden was the only HBCU football player selected during the 2023 NFL Draft.

And the New England Patriots’ 7th-round draft pick agrees with his former coach that he shouldn’t have been the lone Black college representative.

Bolden, an FCS All-American kick returner and defensive back at Jackson State, backs Deion Sanders in the assessment that more HBCU players should receive the honor of being drafted.

Sanders on Saturday said he was “ashamed” that only one HBCU player was taken, and at least three from Jackson State should have been picked by teams.


“Only time I’ll speak on this, I agree 1000% with (Sanders’) statement,” Bolden said on Twitter.”(I’m) beyond thankful for the opportunity to be selected by the Patriots, let’s get to work.”

Photo: Isaiah Bolden/Instagram

Since the draft, there have been accusations that NFL teams have intentionally overlooked HBCU players because they are small school products.

But Will McClay, the Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel, recently pushed back against the comments of Sanders and others who shared similar thoughts.

“Deion’s doing a great job of promoting HBCUs and promoting Colorado and all those things,” McClay told Cowboys Country. “And so that’s part of what the deal is – he wants to see players drafted. We want to draft good football players and good football players come from everywhere.”

“There’s not a conspiracy against drafting HBCU players. We’re looking for players that can come from anywhere. I think that we’ve had the opportunities in the NFL in having things to highlight the HBCU schools.”


The Cowboys did sign Florida A&M linebacker Isaiah Land, who many projected to be taken during the draft after promising performances at the NFL Combine and Reese’s Senior Bowl, to a free-agent deal.

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