(Editor’s Note: Now that offseason practices are in full swing, let’s get to know 30 Cowboys players who are new to the current 90-man roster. Today we continue the series with linebacker Luke Gifford.)
How He Got Here: Gifford is one of the undrafted free agents the Cowboys signed after the draft and will certainly learn from some of the best linebackers in the league, playing behind a projected starting lineup of Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee. At Nebraska, Gifford was all over the field, chasing the ball sideline to sideline to make plays for over three years – twice earning All-Big 10 recognition.
Bet You Didn’t Know: Luke’s younger brother, Isaac Gifford is a 3-star recruit out of Lincoln, Nebraska, who is being recruited as a safety by the Cornhuskers as well as other schools such as Oregon State, Kansas State and Iowa State.
Quotable: “When I first got here, it was one of the first things that I realized was there was a lot of similarities from coming from Nebraska to being here. It’s something I’m super blessed to be in this position and playing for a team like this. I understand from a fans’ standpoint what it means to be a Nebraska fan and a Cowboys fan. I’m excited about this opportunity.” - Luke Gifford (on how playing for a passionate fan base in Nebraska will prepare him for his time with the Cowboys.)
Bryan Broaddus’ Take: If there is a young linebacker to keep an eye on I have a sneaky feeling about Gifford. This kid has a nose for the ball. He plays well on the move and he’s finisher when he gets in position to make plays. Gifford can play both inside and out which gives him that flexibility coaches covet. Where Gifford is going to have to make his mark is in these padded practices and then in the preseason games. I have already seen flashes of traits of instinct and range which makes me believe he could pull this off.
Role/Roster Chances:On paper, one might think the linebacker depth chart would be tough to crack, considering the three players at the top of the list. But this team lost Damien Wilson to free agency and Chris Covington still isn’t proven so there would be a spot for a player who can make a difference on special teams. Gifford was impressive in the summer, so let’s see if he can continue that when the pads come on.