(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. We'll continue with cornerback Eric Scott Jr.)
How He Got Here: Dallas did not waste much time waiting around for Eric Scott, trading a 2024 fifth-round pick to move up 10 spots and select him with the 202nd pick in this year's draft. Scott had a long journey to the NFL, starting his career by redshirting and playing in just four games at Illinois State before transferring to Butler Community College in 2019. He shined in his one season at the junior college level, earning a spot on the defense at Southern Miss a year later. During his three seasons in Hattiesburg, Scott became a cornerstone of the defense with 78 tackles, five interceptions and two touchdowns in his collegiate career. Catching the eyes of the Dallas front office during a stellar 2021 campaign and a starting spot in the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl.
What's Next: Last season proved that a day-three cornerback selection at cornerback could become a game changer on the Cowboys' defense. The previous emergence of Daron Bland as a rookie could elevate the expectations of Eric Scott Jr. before he steps on the field for the first time. Because Scott was on the radar for Dallas early in the draft process, he'll likely receive ample opportunity to shine in training camp and possibly fight for a spot in a regular rotation. He'll be competing against other young cornerbacks like Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright for reps and more defensive snaps. The early expectations for a sixth-round pick would usually be closer associated with a special teams role rather than an impact starter. But don't be surprised if Scott works his way into the fray quicker than expected.
Bet You Didn't Know: Scott met with the Cowboys early in the draft process and was a 30-visit for the team. When meeting with the front office, he passed on a saying from his former coaches of "if the ball is in the air, it's not a 50-50 ball, that's our ball." A sentiment that showed up throughout his college career.
Quotable: "I'm a high energy guy," Scott said about his skillset. "I'm physical at the point of attack. I feel like I can be a very good man-to-man corner for us…Sit back and watch, story is not done."