VALLEY RANCH -- Cowboys receiver L'Damian Washington says he blessed and cursed. Blessed to have an opportunity to make the Cowboys roster, but cursed to have to do it the hard way. The way he knows all too well.
"I've never been so hurt in my life. Honestly; I never felt so low," said Washington when he was asked what it was like to not hear his name called during the NFL draft. And given his history, it's a big statement.
Washington has faced so much adversity in his life. When he was five, his father was killed. When he was 15, his mother died of a stroke at one of his basketball games. And that same year, his best friend was killed.
After losing their mom, Washington and his three brothers refused to split up and go to foster homes. Tough times followed and oftentimes there was too much month at the end of the money.
"That's what keeps me motivated," said Washington. "I've got three brothers back home who probably their water and electric is off right now and I'm here My job is to go make the team."
That's why not getting drafted was such a blow. And now that he's trying to make the Cowboys final roster as an undrafted rookie, he's fully aware he'll have to rise above yet another hurdle.
"It's like that sometimes. That's life. I feel like that's perfect for the life that I've been given," said Washington. "I persevere; that's who I am. That's why I have the character that I have. I don't look down on it. It just keeps me driven."
And the Cowboys have taken notice.
"Perseverance is a big word," says head coach Jason Garrett. "It's an important word and guys who can handle adversity, they're tough enough to work their way through the problems that they have as the grow up. Football problems and problems off the field. We think that's a good thing."
And as for facing more long odds, Washington says he's ready for the challenge because he's built for it. And I'm not about to doubt him.