College: South Carolina
Games Scouted: 2014 Minnesota Vikings against New England, Detroit, Carolina
Lines up as the middle linebacker. Will play square along the line and physically meet the ball carrier in the hole. Comes off the field in nickel situations but would not call him a liability from what I saw on early downs.
Will engage with his hands, shed, then move to the ball. Has to be careful when he tackles that he doesn't lunge, but the majority of his stops are wrap-ups. Reacts well to the play but did not see a closing burst when he chased the ball to the outside. Gave the effort to get over and make the play, but doesn't cover ground like other linebacker on the Cowboys defense. Plays with some pop. Aware in zone to handle the crossing routes. Will get taken wide on the running play, but will fight to get back to the ball. Knows where he needs to fit in the scheme.
Shows the ability to strike and explode in the ball carrier. Good balance when he strikes. Plays with some change of direction. Hard guy to fool. Cam Newton tried to get him on a read-option, but he wasn't fooled. Will fight his way through gaps. Good movement on his drops but not much quickness. Nice sack on an up the middle rush against the Lions. Was on Stafford before he was able to look down field.
Will take on fullbacks in the hole. Physical at the point. Can adjust if the ball goes front side then comes back. Works to keep himself active. Has been a starter for much of his NFL career and could step in and fill that same role here with the Cowboys. Move would allow them to consider moving Sean Lee to the weak side if they choose to do so.
This is a signing that also protects the defense if nothing is done with Rolando McClain.