(Editor's Note: With the offseason program in the rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead. As part of the preparation for training camp, this series will introduce 25 key players who are new to the Cowboys' roster, rookies and veterans alike. The series continues today with defensive end Chauncey Golston.)
How He Got Here: Taken just nine spots after Osa Odighizuwa in the third round of this year's NFL draft, Golston was part of a back-to-back effort to bolster the Cowboys' defensive line heading into Dan Quinn's first year on the job.
Golston's career to this point is marked by a trend of non-stop hustle. The Detroit native spent five years at Iowa, rising from a role player and contributor to a constant starter and a first-team All-Big 10 player in 2020. At the conclusion of his college career, he was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he turned heads for working at both defensive end and defensive tackle – a versatility he showed again when he got onto the field this spring during the Cowboys' OTAs.
What's Next: Most evaluators seem to think there's a limit to how effectively Golston can rush the passer at the NFL level. That's how he wound up being the 84th overall pick.
But that combination of motor and versatility could go a long way in helping him establish a role on this defense. Behind the duo of DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, the Cowboys don't have much in the way of proven playmakers. On top of that, this is a defense that struggled against the run last season, and Golston has a noted ability to fight off blockers and set the edge. There's plenty of value in that.
It stands to reason that Golston's primary competitors for playing time will be guys like Tarell Basham, Dorance Armstrong and Bradlee Anae. It's hard to imagine him grabbing a starting job as a rookie, but there's plenty of reason to believe he can hustle his way into being a member of the rotation early on.
Bet You Didn't Know: Golston is just the second Iowa Hawkeye to be drafted by the Cowboys during Jerry Jones' tenure as owner and general manager, along with 2014 fourth-round pick Anthony Hitchens. The team has drafted seven other Iowa players during its history, including three-time All-Pro John Niland, with the No. 5 overall pick of the 1966 NFL Draft.
Quotable: "At the end of the day, it's just football. As long as you're preparing the right way and you're not — if I was to just train on the left side, then playing on the right side would be hard. But I'm trying to be as versatile as possible. So, I train on both sides." – Chauncey Golston