(Editor's Note: With the offseason practices now complete, the Cowboys will take some downtime before departing for training camp on July 28. Until then, let's focus on some of the more unknown rookies on this team, fighting for a roster spot. Today's featured player is safety Ray Vinopal)
Name: Ray Vinopal
Acquired: Undrafted Free Agent
Collegiate Career:Vinopal started all 26 games of his junior and senior seasons for the Panthers, notching a total of 151 tackles during those two years. He was Pitt's defensive captain in 2014, and he was named honorable mention All-ACC as a junior in 2013.
Did You Know? He is originally from Youngstown, Ohio, but Vinopal actually began his college career at Michigan. He made six starts at safety as a true freshman under Rich Rodriguez, tallying 33 tackles, three pass breakups and one interception. He transferred to Pittsburgh after Rodriguez was replaced by Brady Hoke.[embeddedad0]
2015 Outlook: Vinopal wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine this past February, but his 26 reps on the bench press at his Pittsburgh Pro Day were better than all but one defensive back in Indianapolis. He obviously faces a tough task of being situated roughly sixth on the safety depth chart – whereas most NFL rosters typically only carry four or maybe five safeties. There are plenty of good examples to follow on this roster, though. Barry Church, Danny McCray and Jeff Heath were all in his situation as rookies and made the team.
- Physical tackler who is not afraid to stick his nose in the action.
- Lacks foot speed and quickness for the position. Will drive on the ball when in front, but takes him just a little bit longer to get there. Will take some odd angles to the ball.
- Fills in the hole when he comes down. Has to be careful not to bite on routes. Very aggressive.
– Bryan Broaddus