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Rookie Free Agent Scouting Reports: 3 From Texas Schools


(Editor's Note: will break down all of the undrafted free agents this week before the start of Friday's rookie mini-camp. Today, Bryan Broaddus scouted three players from Texas schools who have joined the Cowboys.)

Ben Malena                       RB, Texas A&M (5-8, 193)

  • Plays much faster than his timed speed. Plays in a read-option attack. Plenty of inside hand offs. Has some wiggle and quickness in the hole. Hard guy to get a hold of when he is running with the ball. Throws moves as he is going along.
  • Does a nice job of playing with his eyes. Can see blocks develop and make the cuts. Has outstanding quickness. Can put his foot in the ground and explode. Can make the jump cut in the hole to redirect. Catches the ball well. Will go in motion, then get the ball on the move up the field.
  • Will not call him a pile mover. Will bounce off defenders. Will throw his body around as a blocker. Is more willing to chop than take on high.
  • Not as effective on the blitz pick up. Will stand in there square but his height hurts him here. Able to make cuts in tight areas.
  • Can catch the ball out wide. Nice job of sideline awareness against Alabama keeping his toes in bounds on a reception. Has the makeup to be a core special teamer as well in the coverage game.  

Dashaun Phillips                CB, Tarleton State (5-11, 183)

  • Can stay in position in the route. Will usually line up as a press man corner. Feet are quick. Knows how to play the ball in the air with the off hand. Will drive hard out of his break.
  • Will play almost sideways in zone coverage. Keeps his rear to the sideline and will try and push everything inside. Comes out of his break well when in this technique. Will pedal with some quickness.
  •  Knows how to play trail across the field. Able to undercut the route when it comes across the field.
  • Not the type of player that is going to stick his nose in the action. Thought he needed to get his head around quicker to find the ball. Had a hard task of trying to cover the tight end for Angelo State and his size was a problem. Not able to handle him in the air. Can struggle when the receiver gets physical with him.
  • Does a nice job of reading and breaking on the slant. Has an awareness for this. Pedal is slow and low, then he explodes out of it. Nice job of playing the corner route in the red zone. Was not fooled by the inside move, then back outside.
  • Was able to turn and be in position to defend the route. The only real drawback to this player appears to be that he physically looks slight on tape.

Chris Whaley                     DT, Texas  (6-3, 273)

  • Avoid the low block, stays to the outside. Fight down the line. Lines up at both the one and three. Some initial quickness off the snap on the slant. Gets hands up in lanes. [embedded_ad]
  • Does a nice job playing with leverage. Holds the gap. Uses a slap and rip to get up the field. Needs to be more aware of the down block. Good when he can extend his hands and can control the blocker. Can redirect back inside.
  • Great effort to chase the ball. There were times where he needs to get rid of the blockers quicker. Stands in one spot. Had a pick six on a fire zone drop against Oklahoma, was in perfect position to catch the ball.
  • Would like to see more pass rush moves. Push is through power only right now. When he wants to come off the ball can bring the quick arm over move.
  • Nice sack against TCU, where he was able to get the edge and work around the blocker, was able to keep after quarterback and worked him to the ground. Will throw his body around when he gets in space. Will work back to the ball, can change direction. Played much better in the Oklahoma and TCU games, can be active and disruptive inside. 
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