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Role Call: Liufau expected to make early impact


(Editor's Note: As part of the preparation for training camp, this series will introduce 25 players who are new to the Cowboys' roster, rookies and veterans alike. We continue with Marist Liufau.)

How He Got Here: Standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 234 lbs., Liufau is Hawaii-born and has a football pedigree in his bloodline, helping him to carve out a name of his own on the national stage for the Fighting Irish.

One of the faster linebackers in the draft, he ran a respectable 4.64 second 40-yard dash (70th-percentile) and his wingspan works alongside his arm length to make it exceptionally challenging for opposing quarterbacks to take advantage of him — to the point where his most notable NFL comp is Darius Leonard, with collegiate comparisons to Edgerrin Cooper (Texas A&M).

What's Next: Liufau is yet another Senior Bowl alum that caught the eye of the Cowboys, and his instincts are ready-made for what the linebacker position demands. His first step is decisive and impressive, and there isn't a lot of guesswork in his game. On the reps wherein he does have a misstep, it's because he hesitated before accelerating toward the play but, once he does, he's a missile.

He plays to the whistle and takes attempted blocks as disrespect, violently shedding them en route to what is usually a sound tackle. Not many ball carriers can evade him in open space, or when he gets his hands on them. He'll be looked upon to contribute heavily as a rookie third-round pick, on both defense and special teams in 2024.

Did You Know: … that Liufau is cousin to Rams' breakout superstar wide receiver Puka Nacua?

Quotable: "I told the guys I'm here to serve them in any way I can. As a linebacker, I feel I'll contribute to both defense and special teams. ... I can't put it into words. I can't wait." - Marist Liufau

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