By: Dustin Smith
This is the first of a few articles dedicated to some under-the-radar non-Round 1 NFL Draft Picks. First up is Jabril Cox, Linebacker (LB) from North Dakota St. (2016-19) and LSU (2020) to the Dallas Cowboys in Round 4.
Jabril Cox is an outstanding addition to a Dallas Cowboys LB group that has struggled to stay healthy. Sean Lee just announced his retirement, and Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have had some injuries in their careers thus far. The Cowboys did draft Micah Parsons from Penn State in Round 1, and it is believed that recently signed Free-Agent Keanu Neal will move from Safety to Linebacker for the upcoming 2021 season. This amount of Linebacker depth and list of personnel on the Dallas roster gives a great opportunity for the Cowboys to run a 3-4 Defensive scheme.
While at NDSU, Cox exploded on the scene in his Redshirt (RS) Freshman Season. Cox racked up 91 total tackles, 9.5 TFL, 4 sacks, and 3 INTs en route to winning the FCS National Championship Game and a 14-1 record. Cox led the Bison defense that allowed just 11.6 PPG throughout the 15-game season. Cox joined the reigning National Champion LSU Tigers for the 2020 season as a graduate transfer. Cox racked up 58 total tackles, 6.5 TFL, 1 sack, and 3 INTs.
Cox’s size at 6’3” and 232 lbs, in addition to his good speed (4.52 40-yard dash) gives the Cowboys a much neededpresence on the outside. Cox will perform best as an edge rusher from the LB position- something the Cowboys have missed for several years. Cox can be utilized on all three downs defensively, and could also contribute on Kickoff coverage for Special Teams. The Cowboys are getting a versatile, well-rounded, and hungry 4th Round selection in Jabril Cox. I look for him to provide great LB depth for Dallas, and begin contributing early on for an improved Cowboys defense.
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