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Role Call: Marshawn Kneeland brings intriguing youth


(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 Marshawn Kneeland.)

How He Got Here: The Cowboys surprised the masses when they pulled the trigger on a defensive lineman in the second round over pressing needs at interior offensive line, running back and linebacker. But when you look at the talent and physical skill set of Marshawn Kneeland, you understand the logic behind using that selection on the Western Michigan product. A tackle-for-loss machine in the Mid-American Conference, Kneeland stopped runners behind the line of scrimmage 25 times over his final three seasons for the Broncos. A Senior Bowl participant and popular name amongst 30-Visits with NFL teams, Kneeland fell to the perfect spot for Dallas who used its best-player-available strategy to select the 6-foot-3, 267-pound defensive force.

What's Next: Kneeland will have an intriguing opportunity to make an impact early on in his time in Dallas, as he is expected to slide in and take over the role vacated by Dorance Armstrong as the "big" edge on run downs and a situational pass rusher in multiple spots along the defensive line. His large physical presence will allow him to show off his versatility and let him find a role in multiple spots over the course of his rookie season. With DeMarcus Lawrence heading into the final year of his contract with Dallas, it could also be a big proving opportunity for Kneeland to put himself in the driver's seat to take over Lawrence's role if he does not return in 2025.

Did You Know: Kneeland recorded the highest athleticism score (88) of any DE/EDGE in the 2024 NFL Draft class, according to His numbers at the combine included a 4.75-second 40-yard dash, 35-foot-5-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-11-inch broad jump.

Quotable: "I just want to add on to the legacy of the number. I wanna get the number retired. It's been some greats that have had it." - Marshawn Kneeland on having the honor of wearing No. 94 for the Cowboys

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