(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. Today, we continue the series with defensive lineman Carlos Watkins.)
How He Got Here: The Cowboys reached a one-year deal with Watkins the first week of free agency in March. Drafted by the Texans in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Watkins became an unrestricted free agent after finishing out his rookie contract. He has appeared in 42 career games, posting 69 tackles and four sacks. In 2020, Watkins started a career-high 11 games, playing just under 50% of the snaps, and posted a career-high two sacks for Houston.
What's Next: Watkins (6-3, 305) also was listed as a defensive end in the Texans' base 3-4 scheme but played inside on passing downs in a four-man front. Watkins might be a better fit at tackle in Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's system, but he takes pride in playing multiple positions where needed. "I feel like that's what I bring, just being an athlete and being versatile, being able to go to (defensive) end, three (technique), the nose (tackle spot)," he said. Watkins is also looking forward to getting off the ball and rushing up the field more than he did in Houston.
Bet You Didn't Know: Watkins was a captain at Clemson and helped the Tigers beat Alabama for the national title in 2016. That season, Watkins broke William "Refrigerator" Perry's school record for most sacks in a season by a defensive tackle (10.5).
Quotable: "The pads (practices in training camp) is when you really start to separate yourself a little bit. That's when things start to get figured out a little more and you get to show a little more as well. Can't do too much in OTAs. The pads is when it's go time. It'll be fun." – Carlos Watkins