(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 Andrew Dowell.)
How He Got Here: Dowell played for Mark Dantonio at Michigan State, and signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. He’s coming off his best season with Michigan State, finishing with a career-high 97 tackles, nine tackles for loss, nine pass breakups and 3.5 sacks.
Bet You Didn’t Know: Dowell is one of three brothers who play for Michigan State – his twin and his younger brother are both defensive backs at Michigan State. Dowell has trained in Dallas the past two offseasons.
Quotable: “I’m a fast, physical and aggressive player. My speed is one of my best attributes, I’m a sideline to sideline type of guy, and a hustle guy as well. In this break that we have, I want to continue to dive into the playbook and get the plays down, so when training camp comes around, I’m not hesitant.” – Andrew Dowell
Bryan Broaddus’ Take: Interesting player in that he’s listed as a linebacker but played more like a strong safety at Michigan State. There were far more snaps of him playing in coverage than playing around the line of scrimmage. Flashed some of that coverage skill during these OTAs/minicamp practices. Had a feel for how to position himself between the quarterback and receiver in order to deny that as an option. Can really drive on it. Did a nice job playing with his eyes. Will likely shine in those training camp practices in pads where he can run/hit. Has a nose for the ball. In order to make the club he’s going to have to be a more consistent tackler. No question that he can get in position but he needs to do a better job of finishing. Again the padded practices are his best bet to show his ability.
Role/Roster Chances: Linebacker coach Ben Bloom started calling Dowell a few weeks before the draft to let him know the Cowboys were interested. But Dowell’s got an uphill battle to make the roster, but the practice squad is a potential fit for a player who has the physical tools. He’s a 6-1, 225-pound outside linebacker who moves around nicely. The Cowboys not only have their young starters for the future with Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith; they have depth that they like, as well. But Dowell will have a chance to impress at training camp and in preseason special teams opportunities.