(Editor's Note: With training camp just around the corner, let's get to know 30 Cowboys players – from rookies to established veterans – who are new to the current 90-man roster. Today we continue the series with defensive back Chris Westry.)
How He Got Here: Westry played four seasons at cornerback for the University of Kentucky. Although the Cowboys picked up Westry after he went undrafted, the writing was on the wall; they hosted him for a pre-draft visit and obviously liked his physical qualities as a defensive back. Westry is 6'4 with extremely long arms and put up a 4.31 40.
Bet You Didn't Know: Westry never missed a game in his four-year career at Kentucky. But if he didn't play football for a living, he says he'd like to work for Google.
Quotable: "We're very thrilled [to sign Westry]. He's a ball of clay for us. It's just really cool to have a guy with that type of athletic ability beyond the profile fit. Obviously again, the number one thing we're looking for is, we'll get him to be able to play the technique. Physicality, the aggressive nature, we want for him to be able to fit the embodiment for what we ask for for all of our defensive backs." - Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard
Bryan Broaddus' Take: Westry's height makes him a rare player at the cornerback position. You don't see many cornerbacks in the league that are a legit 6-4. He has outstanding straight line speed coming out of Kentucky, but the question for him will be how well is he able to redirect when put in coverage situations. When playing cornerback in the league, the ability to turn and react is a must. Generally, long-legged defenders have trouble in that area because any split second lost in transition can hurt their positioning in the route. Kris Richard has had success working with longer, taller corners due to the way he teaches his corners to pedal and then open their hips. Another thing to keep an eye on with Westry is that he tends to grab and hold when the receiver comes off the line. He won't be able to get away with that technique at this level, so the quicker Richard can break him of that habit, the better his chances of making the roster.
Role/Roster Chances: The first day of minicamp, Westry had his shorts – almost comically – rolled up so short, his legs looked a mile long. (I asked him why, and he told me "It's my style, you know it's my swag.") Westry says he knows his ticket to a spot on the roster is through special teams, which he didn't do much of in college. That's where his focus is going to be at training camp. His length and strength are something you almost can't turn away from – and Richard said it perfectly; he's a ball of clay. It's just a matter of what he can mold into before September.