Feb 26, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisiana State Tigers defensive end Tyrann Mathieu catches a pass during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Draft 2013: Why Not Tyrann Mathieu?

August 2, 2012; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (7) during the fall camp practice at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu gets a bad rap. Well, first of all, he goes by the moniker “Honey Badger”. Second, he had some off-field issues that led most people to believe he is a liability.

Beyond that, Mathieu is a ball hog. He may be small and somewhat weak in comparison to most bigger receivers and DBs, but at 5’9″ 186 lbs. the “Honey Badger” will play with attitude and aggression. Something the Cowboys desperately lack on defense.

I wouldn’t waste a top-3 round pick on him, but I might think about him later in the draft. He had an outstanding career on the field at LSU. In two seasons as a Tiger, Mathieu tallied 133 total tackles, showing his ability to cover a lot of ground due to his speed and ability to avoid blockers.

Because of his size, most NFL GMs and coaches might shy away from him as a top-flight NFL DB. On the contrary fellas!

Mathieu may have only picked off four passes at LSU, but he was involved in 19 pass breakups. His 34″ vertical leap doesn’t scream badass, but his timing and ability to read the ball in the air is better than most in this draft.

Jerry Jones has taken a chance on a lot worse in his career. He has a knack for picking up people with “bad attitudes”. Dez Bryant has certainly had his issues, Terrell Owens of course made a splash defending Tony Romo.

And lets not forget about Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, Tank Johnson, Deion Sanders, Adam “Pacman” Jones.

In fact, that is a good comparison for Mathieu.

Pacman Jones is small, fast, and covers well because of his speed and ability to turn his hips and stay light on his feet. Those descriptions fit the Honey Badger to a “T”.

The Cowboys could also use a Special Teams presence. They cannot continue to use their star receiver and backup running back as return men. Dallas needs a Devin Hester type. Someone whose main responsibility would be to catch the oblong ball, avoid a few tacklers and try to score a touchdown 5-6 times a game.

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In 2011 at LSU, Mathieu returned 25 punts for an average of 17.2 yards per return and ran two back for touchdowns. He also ran back two fumble recoveries for TDs.

That stat alone should make Monte Kiffin take notice. He loves a defense who can pick up a turnover and force the opponent’s hand by taking it for a score.

Mathieu may have his off-field issues, but keep the Honey Badger on the field, it will pay off in a big way.

If it doesn’t work out, Honey Badger don’t care…

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