Skip to main content

Pick by Pick: What Marist Liufau brings to the mix


FRISCO, Texas – And now the evaluation process begins. The Cowboys completed the NFL Draft over the weekend, selecting eight players, including five on the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys made sure to add some bulk on both the offensive and defensive lines with their first three picks.

Before the rookies officially arrive for a minicamp next week, let's take a closer look at each selection, with what they've done, how they might fit and what was said about the pick over the weekend.

Today, let's continue with third-round pick Marist Liufau

  • Name: Marist Liufau
  • Position: Linebacker
  • School: Notre Dame
  • Selection: 3rd round (87th overall)

What He's Bringing: Production and experience. The Cowboys picked up a linebacker that should fit into what Mike Zimmer wants to do on defense. After the draft, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones said they picked a few players for Zimmer and Liufau certainly is one of them. At Notre Dame, he played all over the field, lining up both inside and outside linebacker but also rushed the quarterback from the edge. In his final game of his career, Liufau had a career-high 2.5 tackles for loss, with another half-sack in a win over Stanford. He was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker.

Where He's Playing: That's up in the air right now as we wait to see exactly how Mike Zimmer plays this scheme. Traditionally, he's been more of a 4-3 coordinator, using three linebackers, but that doesn't mean he won't play around with the fronts, switching to 3-4 at times, especially if they have the personnel. And a player like Micah Parsons allows that kind of flexibility. So as it relates to Liufau, the Cowboys will likely start him out as an outside linebacker opposite Damone Clark and next to Eric Kendricks. Liufau has some pass-rushing ability so it's possible to see him work the edge as well. He'll likely get a lot of work on special teams as well.

What They're Saying: Here are some quotes that came out of draft weekend after the Cowboys selected the Notre Dame linebacker.

  • VP of Player Personnel Will McClay: "Football player number one. Versatility. In this day and age, and Coach McCarthy will talk about players doing two things, defensively the way they used him at Notre Dame with being able to rush off the edge and being able to play stacked as a linebacker. He has 34" arms; able to match tackles. He plays all over the field and can drop in coverage. The multiplicity and the number of things he can do at a high level was attractive."
  • Third-round pick Marist Liufau: "First of all, you're getting a guy who does things the right way on and off the field. Just turn on the tape, I flipped the switch on the field so you're getting a person that's going to do whatever it takes us to succeed for the team. And like I said, just being a selfless teammate and things like that. So I'm going to help the Cowboys in any way necessary to add to that winning culture."