(Editor's Note: Throughout the off-season, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will take a closer look at the roster, analyzing players' impact last season and how each fits into the team's 2016 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features cornerback Terrance Mitchell.)
Name: Terrance Mitchell
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 190
Experience: 1 season
Key Stat: In Week 15, Mitchell recorded the first interception of the season by a Cowboys cornerback – a day after getting signed from the practice squad to the active roster.
Contract Status: Signed through 2017.
2015 Impact: Was surprised how quickly he was able to come in and fit in as a nickel corner. Job was not too big for him. Competed from the time he was placed in the lineup. Showed physical toughness and range. This wasn't always the case while at Oregon. Reactionary athlete. Solid height and overall frame. Looks rangy on tape. Light on his feet with natural body control and movement skills. Not all over the place in his technique. Has worked hard to learn how to play the position. Stays low in his pedal to redirect easily and drive on plays in front of him – smooth accelerator. Quick read/diagnose skills and stays alert on each snap. Never thought that he had that real burst or long speed. When he gets his hands on the man is when he has the best chance to stay in position in coverage. Plays bigger than he looks and is willing to fight for the ball. Showed reliable ball skills in college and that has now carried over to the pros. Works hard in run defense to fight around blocks and arrive at the ball carrier.
Where He Fits: Has shown enough to be in the conversation about one of the six corners on the roster. The fact that he can play inside or out really helps his chances. Is not afraid and is more than willing to compete. Has to make up for his lack of speed with physical play and technique. Has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Will be interesting to see how he adapts to Joe Baker as his secondary coach. Might even try him at safety in the offseason to see if it is a role that he can handle. Nice player when things are in front of him.
Rob Phillips: A couple weeks after he signed to the practice squad, Mitchell – a 2014 seventh-round pick by Dallas who spent the previous season and a half with the Bears – found himself as the Cowboys' slot corner the week of Tyler Patmon's release. He showed toughness and instincts in the season's final three games, and with cornerback depth a question mark this offseason, the Cowboys would sure like a young player like Mitchell to show development.