FRISCO, Texas — Two things are true when it comes to Eric Scott Jr., and that's the fact he, like every other late-round pick in the entirety of the NFL, has to earn his spot on a professional roster but, for Scott, there's a leg up in his journey to make the 53-man list in 2023.
It's a journey that saw him begin his collegiate career as a redshirt freshman at Illinois State, then suiting up for Butler Community College before moving on to Southern Miss, where he delivered two pick-sixes in 2022.
The other fact? It's in how the Cowboys traded up in the sixth round to acquire him, giving up a pick in 2024 to do it, and that tells you all you need to know about what they believe exists within him.
"It means the world," he said during minicamp. "It's all really surreal. I'm taking it all in to learn fast and hit the ground running."
He's off to the races when it comes to impressing defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
"When you see a guy wanting the moment to go compete, and balling his fist up and saying, 'I ain't leaving here,''' said Quinn of Scott's demeanor on the field thus far this offseason. "That's what I'm looking for from the rookies, to have that kind of attitude to say, 'I'm here. I ain't going nowhere.'"
In observing Scott both on the field and in the locker room during OTAs and minicamp, Quinn is spot-on. The former Southern Miss standout has an air about him best described as a silent growl, in that you can easily tell he's ready to sink his teeth into his career as an NFL cornerback.
Will he require some development, yes, he will, but he's got all of the tools to potentially be the steal of the 2023 NFL Draft for the Cowboys, before it's all said-and-done.
"That kind of mindset and attitude is really what it takes for a young player to assert themselves in these moments," Quinn added. "That responsibility is real, can we count on you when it's there? And learning to do that early on is a big deal, the amount of work that goes into it that says, 'I'm down for this challenge. You can count on me to get it done.'
"I've seen that from Eric."
And before anyone goes writing off Scott's potential, it's best to remember that DaRon Bland was selected only 11 picks earlier in the 2022 NFL Draft — the 167th-overall pick late in the fifth round.
That isn't to say Scott is guaranteed to be another DaRon Bland, but it is to say dismissing players simply because of where they were selected in the draft exposes a low football IQ.
For his part, Scott is doing everything possible to show the Cowboys they made the right decision on Day 3, and that includes attaching himself to the hip of All-Pro cornerbacks Trevon Diggs and Stephon Gilmore.
"I feel like it's going good," he said during minicamp. "I've got a great room with [Stephon Gilmore] and [Trevon Diggs]. They've been giving a lot of the younger guys [who are] coming in plenty of tips and pointers on how to become a pro. [They're teaching me about how] being a pro means handling your responsibilities, on and off the field.
"Do your job and be accountable. Those are some of the things that are the standard."
He harbors a standard for himself as well, one that comes prepackaged in his 6-foot-2, 202 lb. frame, and he's that includes staying ready so he never has to get ready.
"[I bring] a lot of dedication, studying late nights and early mornings," said Scott. "Treatment, rehab and taking mental reps when you're not in the game — all of the little things that add up to success on the field. … Sit back and watch. The story's not done."
He and Quinn are seemingly building something that might stun more than a few people who are being dismissive of Scott due to his draft status, non-linear collegiate career and/or the fact he ran a 4.72s 40-yard dash (overlooking the fact he chose to do that sprint with a pulled quad).
But, for Scott, it's all about putting in the work and taking the biggest early lesson from Quinn and turning it into a reality in a Cowboys uniform.
And what, pray tell, is that lesson?
"BMF, go look that up," he said. "How to become a BMF."
Shaft would be proud, and Quinn might be as well in the near future.