(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 the series with linebacker Jabril Cox.)
How He Got Here: Cox had a rather unique collegiate career, starting at a lower-level before taking his game to one of the best programs in the country. But after three seasons of rather dominating the FCS level at North Dakoka State, earning All-American honors twice and helping his team win three national championships – all played in Frisco, Texas – Cox decided to transfer his senior season to LSU. With just one season in the SEC, Cox saw better competition, but the results were still the same. He finished third on the defense in tackles and established himself as one of the defensive standouts on a team that lost loads of talent from the 2019 national championship squad.
What's Next: Cox has the build and speed of a strong safety but with tackling ability and instincts of a linebacker. When you look at the roster, Keanu Neal stands out as a player reminiscent of Cox and one that the young rookie can learn from this year. How the Cowboys incorporate Neal, a converted safety with the Falcons, into this defense as a linebacker, is probably something they can do for Cox, although it might be down the road. This year, Cox can certainly establish himself as a core special teams player and perhaps someone that can find himself playing in certain defensive packages. Don't forget, Leighton Vander Esch is in a contract year and Jaylon Smith's future with the Cowboys is not clear as well. So the Cowboys might look for extended opportunities to get Cox on the field this year to help them make some tough decisions next offseason.
Bet You Didn't Know: The Cowboys didn't get Cox until early in the fourth round, but his name was being mentioned throughout the second day of the draft (rounds 2-3). Had they not already picked Micah Parsons with the 12th pick, Cox would've likely been the pick in the second round. And with their three third-round picks, the Cowboys debated for Cox every time, even once going down to the final seconds before taking cornerback Nahshon Wright. But in the fourth, it was a no-brainer to land a player the Cowboys had graded in the second round.
Quotable: "Coming out of high school I was under recruited and underrated. It's nothing new. It's a chip on my shoulder. I can't wait to show the league what they missed out on." – Jabril Cox on falling to the fourth round of the NFL Draft.