FRISCO, Texas – He grew up in California, went to college in Oregon. But Nahshon Wright says he "loves football" and that's the reason why he's not only heard of Dan Quinn, but is very familiar with his style of play.
A student of the game, Wright said he's followed Quinn's success in both Seattle and Atlanta and knew that was the type of scheme he wanted to play, if he got the chance to be in the NFL.
The Cowboys, perhaps with a nudge from Quinn and the defensive coaches, gave Wright that opportunity last week by drafting him in the third round.
While some draft "experts" believe Wright's selection as the 99th overall pick was a bit high, he might not be the right fit in every scheme. But he certainly has that one thing Quinn and head coach Mike McCarthy seem to be looking for: length.
At 6-4, 190 pounds, Wright has the physique of a big safety or even a lanky receiver. But at cornerback, there's not many that make it in the NFL with that type of size.
"Nahshon Wright, love his length," McCarthy said after the draft. "I really like his path through his career, the receiver skills. Dan Quinn was up at the Oregon State workout. We love the tape going into it. His ability to play with length but to also go and track the ball. Some of our guys compared him to Trevon (Diggs) as far as his ability to track the football."
Wright had five interceptions in a career that spanned just 18 games over a two-year period. Because of that, it wasn't easy for teams to get a good read on Wright, who said he had plenty of conversations with the Cowboys, ranging from all sorts of topics.
"It was more so just talking on a personal level. We didn't talk a whole lot of football," Wright said. "I know quite a bit about coach Dan Quinn and what he likes to run. (We) didn't talk too much football; we really just got to know each other. I love to watch football. I saw what he did at Atlanta and what type of scheme he ran. And just the type of corners he likes, long and athletic."
And obviously, cornerbacks that size have their disadvantages in trying to have enough quickness to stay with the speedy receivers. But Wright said his size has some benefits as well.
"For me, it's an advantage. I can get my hands on the shorter, quicker guys, and I'm able to run with them," Wright said. "With the bigger guys, I'm able to match their physicality, so for me it's an advantage, if anything."
Wright raised a few eyebrows in his press conference to the media after being drafted when he favorably compared himself to Richard Sherman, who is currently a free agent but excelled for Quinn in Seattle, which ran a scheme that hasn't changed too much over the years.
"I look at myself as a more athletic and agile Richard Sherman," Wright said. "That scheme just fits perfect."
Time will tell if he's a player who can be mentioned in the same sentence with a future Hall of Famer. Time will also tell if he's a player who fits the scheme at all.
But Wright certainly has the look the Cowboys are wanting. Now it's up to him to prove he's worth the pick.