Dallas Cowboys Round 3, Pick 99
Marlon Tuipulotu, DT
This is a tricky pick since there seems to be some fairly differing views of Marlon Tuipulotu’s draft position. Dane Brugler has him as high as 67 while PFF has him outside the top-100 altogether. So I’m going to consider it realistic that he’s here at 99 even if I also think it’s realistic he’s gone at 75.
The reason I’m high on Marlon Tuipulotu is because he’s the total package and someone Will McClay likes in a defensive tackle prospect. He’s big and strong enough to hold up against the run, yet quick and athletic enough to be a factor as a pass-rusher.
While the Dallas Cowboys clearly need the former in a DT, they don’t value it unless he has the skills of the latter. They simply don’t like to invest in DTs if they don’t have the ability to penetrate.
Marlon Tuipulotu has the strengths and quickness to be a pressure player. He has a strong bull rush and the quickness to jump the gap. He’s not a 6+ sack player or anything, but he can apply pressure and that’s what Dallas wants.
He stood out in the Senior Bowl and won the hearts of many scouts with his play and motor. He showed he can be an impact player from the 1-tech position (not a normal play-making spot) and would fit quite nicely on the Dallas Cowboys.
There are a handful of other DT prospects here with a similar skill set. The third round is where I think Dallas will be targeting an interior D-lineman. We just have to keep in mind they have no interest is stout run stuffers if they don’t possess pressure ability.