The Dallas Cowboys named Lionel Vital the team's director of college scouting on Wednesday. Vital comes to Dallas after spending the previous three seasons (2013-15) as the Atlanta Falcons director of player
Vital first landed in Atlanta in 2007 as the club's assistant director of player personnel - a position he held until 2011 when he was the Falcons associate director of player personnel. During his time in Atlanta, Vital worked closely with General Manager Thomas Dimitroff on most college scouting directives, including evaluating the top-150 college prospects in his role as a national scout. He also graded the top NFL unrestricted free agents at all positions, additionally managing any special projects with the general manager.
Vital had two stints with the Baltimore Ravens, the most recent from 2005-07 where he scouted schools across the country as a national scout, concentrating on defensive lineman. During his time in Baltimore, Vital was awarded the inaugural Fritz Pollard Alliance Scouting Award, which is given to the top African-American scout in each conference.
From 2001-04 Vital was the assistant director of college scouting for the New England Patriots after serving as a national scout for the team in 2000.
Vital scouted the southeast region from 1997-99 for the N.Y. Jets after breaking into the NFL scouting ranks with the Cleveland Browns in 1991, originally hired by Bill Belichick. Vital moved to Baltimore with the Browns for the Ravens inaugural 1996 season as a college scout.
Before becoming an NFL scout, Vital was director of player personnel for the Montreal Machine of the World League of American Football for two years (1990-91).
A native of Loreauville, La., Vital graduated from Nicholls State and as a running back, was selected in the seventh round (185th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He also played in the Canadian Football League, first with the Calgary Stampeders (1986) then the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1989).