Armstrong one that got away

IRVING, Texas -- With the Cowboys signing former Arena Football League star Troy Bergeron to the practice squad on Wednesday, it got me to thinking about another indoor star that got away, Anthony Armstrong.

Armstrong has 35 catches for 672 yards and two touchdowns in his first season with the Redskins. The 5-11, 185-pound Carrollton Newman Smith product was on the Cowboys’ radar in 2008 when he was playing for the AFL’s Desperados.

He had 93 catches for 1,273 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2007-08 for coach Will McClay, who is the Cowboys pro scouting coordinator.

In 2008 the Cowboys wanted to sign him but the NFL’s 10-day waiver period for AFL players thwarted their attempts. Armstrong ended up in Miami with Jeff Ireland & Co. and spent the season on the Dolphins’ practice squad making well into six figures. The Dolphins cut him on Aug. 29, 2009 and he joined the Redskins’ practice squad on Oct. 21.

It did not take Washington’s new coach, Mike Shanahan, long to notice Armstrong.

“You could see in the preseason that he’s got great speed,” Shanahan said. “You really never know if the guy is going to make those plays when it comes to the regular season. He did a good job throughout our OTAs. As you start making plays in games, you start getting a lot of confidence in a guy showing that he can do it consistently and when it counted. Yeah, I’ve been really impressed with the way he’s handled himself.”