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Cowboys showing combine priority in front seven


NDIANAPOLIS — Wednesday marked the first day that players at the NFL Scouting Combine spoke to the media at the Indiana Convention Center as defensive linemen and linebackers got to update those in attendance on their draft process and the teams they have met with this week.

The Dallas Cowboys were one of the teams most mentioned during Wednesday's sessions as they head into the offseason putting an emphasis on beefing up the front seven of their defense. Of the players that caught up with, eight have either had or will have formal interviews with the Cowboys this week and 14 have had informal interviews.

The eight formal interviews included Michigan linebacker Junior Colson, Missouri linebacker Ty'Ron Hopper, Texas A&M linebacker Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M defensive tackle McKinnley Jackson, LSU defensive tackle Maason Smith, Michigan defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, Clemson defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro and Texas defensive tackle T'Vondre Sweat.

Sweat, who has drawn headlines from the draft community with his 6-foot-3, 363-pound frame, said his meeting with the Cowboys was special because of his former teammate Paxton Anderson, who is also the grandson of owner Jerry Jones, being in the room.

Colson, who accounted for 245 tackles in three seasons with the Wolverines, said he will be meeting with the Cowboys on Wednesday night and would be thrilled to play alongside Mazi Smith and Luke Schoonmaker again.

Hopper said his conversation with the Cowboys went great and that the defensive staff was able to give him great feedback on his strengths and weaknesses.

Cooper said at the Shrine Bowl that staying in Texas would be a cool thing for him to be able to do at the next level, and on Wednesday he said that he feels like he can bring versatility to the second level for the Cowboys.

Jackson echoed Cooper's comments about being able to stay in Texas while also stating that some of his best games with the Aggies came while playing at AT&T Stadium. He said his conversation included the staff complimenting his play and that they could use a player like him on their defense.

Smith appreciated the Cowboys taking a "serious approach" in his formal meeting while also stating that it'd be exciting to play alongside DeMarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons at the next level.

Orhorhoro said he talked the most with new defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina and the feedback he received was useful towards his draft process.

Moving into the week, defensive backs and tight ends will meet with the media on Thursday, quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers will meet with the media on Friday and offensive linemen will meet with the media on Saturday.

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