But he does not deny going into the proceedings wishing for a star.
Starkel went to high school at Argyle Liberty Christian and became a fan of the Cowboys due to his relationship with former teammate Luke Laufenburg and former Cowboys quarterback Babe Laufenburg, who is the team’s radio color analyst.
“It’s a dream come true to go out there and wear a Cowboys helmet,” Starkel said. “I don’t know if she will be a star on it. I hope there will be. It will be sweet. That is all I can ask for now. I am excited to go out there and compete and join this junior class at the little camp and see what happens from there.”
Luke died of a rare form of leukemia two years ago but Starkel is still close to Babe. They talk three times a week. It would be surreal for everyone involved if Starkel was signed to a contract, but being fit and being part of the process is a special thing.
“He’s a great kid,” Lowenburg said of Starkill. “It’s great that he’s coming to the Cowboys. I can’t see Nick and I can’t think of Luke. We used to gather. Seeing him there would make me wish he’d cast Luke. I’m so excited for him and it’s great that he’s going to be there.”
Starkel is one of two unoccupied rookie quarterbacks who will be making the tiny little camp along with the nine picks.
The other is Terry Wilson, who started his career in Kentucky before ending in New Mexico.
The Cowboys have four quarterbacks on the roster at starting Dak Prescott and backups Cooper Rush, Will Greer and Ben Dinucci.
Nobody is eligible to participate in the junior junior camps, so the team needed some weapons to go through the training.
Starkle knows the exercises. He served as the experimental quarterback for the New York Jets minicamp last weekend.
“I thought I did well,” he said. “I threw the ball really well. At the end of the day they weren’t looking for a rising midfielder. I understand that. It’s part of the game but any chance I had, I would take it. It was part of that process. That was the first opportunity.”
Second chance comes with the Cowboys, and Starkel hopes he has an advantage as he participated in Dallas Day Drills before enlisting for prospects who played in college or went to high school in the area.
“I loved it,” Starkel said. “I was there with guys I played with in high school and some guys I played with in middle school. I have to try what it feels like. Moving from there to junior camp I can make the transition really well.”
It’s a continuation of a dream traveled by Starkel, who went to Texas A&M as a member of the 2016 recruitment category. He opened his new season with a red jersey as a start in 2017 but suffered a season opener injury.
A change in training opened the door for Kellen Mund to be a 2018 starter. Starkill moved to Arkansas for a season before ending his last two seasons at San Jose State.
He knows there are no promises. The goal is to show enough practical that the cowboys sign it.
Either way, he’s living a dream and making the most of his opportunity.
“I have four days: Thursday through Sunday where I’m a cowboy and play for more,” Starkel said. This is the position I have. My expectations are to go out there and work on my tail and show me what I can do. Hopefully this will give me a place for the next four days or whatever that may be.”
This story was originally published May 12, 2022 3:48 PM.