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IRVING, Texas – While the theme of the draft will remain a defensive-oriented weekend, the Cowboys made a mini-flurry of blockers in the seventh round, even making a trade to pick up another pick.
In all, the Cowboys picked three times in the seventh round, getting yet another offensive tackle in Laurence Gibson (Virginia Tech) and then traded a future pick in 2016 to get Texas tight end Geoff Swaim.
Gibson and Swaim were two of the three offensive players taken among the eight overall selections, along with Florida's Chaz Green.
Earlier in the seventh, the Cowboys picked up Wyoming linebacker Mark Nzeocha (Ne-ZAH-chuh) with the 19th pick in the final round and 236th overall selection. He still visited the Cowboys in early April during the Top 30 visits at Valley Ranch.
"Dallas is a great organization and I had great conversations with Jerry Jones and the other coaches – Coach Eberflus," Nzeocha said. "I'm super excited. I think it's a great fit for me. I can't wait to get started."
Nzeocha, a native of Germany, suffered a torn ACL knee injury midway through his 2014 season.
"It was a tough situation. I was very disappointed," said Nzeocha, who also played some safety in college. "But I came back fairly ahead of schedule."
As for Gibson, the two-year starter for the Hokies served as a backup to begin his career, but can play both left and right tackle.
"I played three different positions in college. I played right guard, right tackle and left tackle. So I am pretty familiar with all of them," he said.
Gibson would have been the final selection of 2015, if not for a decision by the front office to surrender a sixth-round pick in 2016 to acquire Swaim. The junior college transfer didn't manage much of a role as a receiver while at Texas, as he tallied just 13 catches for 84 yards and one touchdown in two seasons. The Cowboys valued him for other reasons, however, including his ability as a run-blocker.
With James Hanna entering a contract year, Swaim's experience as a blocker could prove useful.
"That's kind of what I did in my two years with Texas. I did run blocking. That's all I did," he said. "That's not to diminish what I can do in the passing game, but that's what I was asked to do and obviously I'm very used to doing that. So I'm sure that will be a big role as well as special teams. And just working hard to make the roster, because it's just the start of it."