Dallas Cowboys: Don’t forget about Jabril Cox in 2022

(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are disturbingly thin at the linebacker position. With Keanu Neal and Leighton Vander Esch both set to hit free agency in March, Dallas is in a market for a second level defender or three this offseason.

But before we go throwing the kitchen sink at this local scarcity, we need to keep someone in mind: Jabril Cox is here and big things are expected of the second year linebacker.

The Dallas Cowboys need to remember they have their starting linebackers already

It’s understandable if fans have forgotten about the fourth round pick out LSU. Fourth round linebackers only have roughly a 20% chance of being multi-year starters per data collected by The Hog Sty. So putting any faith in someone like Cox may seem like betting against the odds.

But Jabril Cox is not your typical fourth rounder. Dubbed, “the steal of the Cowboys draft class” by many, Cox has a skill set which perfectly translates to the NFL. While most college linebackers struggle adapting to the coverage responsibilities of the professional game, Cox entered the NFL with coverage being his area of expertise. In fact, he was widely considered the best coverage linebacker in the entire draft.


Jabril Cox was used a variety of ways at LSU last season. He could match up against just about anyone; from WRs, to TEs, to anyone coming out of the backfield, Cox could neutralize them. When targeted, Cox gave passers a paltry 57 passer rating.

The NFL is a passing league these days and having players capable of dealing with the passing game is of the utmost importance. Offensive coordinators try to create matchups that favor their players. Often times that means matching up a TE or WR on a linebacker. That’s not a mismatch when Cox is the linebacker.

The Dallas Cowboys defense runs primarily out of 2 LB sets. With Micah Parsons already cemented in, that means the Cowboys don’t need to throw a bucket load of recourses at the admittedly low value linebacker position. Unless they hope to give Parsons more snaps on the EDGE (something most of us would be good with), the need at linebacker is primarily depth, not starters.

Jabril Cox isn’t just a starting caliber player, but given his skill set, he’s possibly more. The Dallas Cowboys should be making every effort to develop him in 2022 and that means giving him as many snaps as possible.

2021 was largely a lost season for Cox. After a standout rookie preseason where he graded as one of the top rookies in the class (not just on the Cowboys but in the entire league) he was lost to a season ending injury.

Let’s be clear – the needle is pointed up for Jabril Cox. He’s a multi-tool weapon in Dan Quinn’s arsenal and should play a big part on the Dallas Cowboys 2022 defense. Does Dallas need to add linebackers this offseason? Of course, but don’t try to bump Jabril Cox from the starting lineup because he’s going to breakout in a big way this season and remind everyone why he was the steal of the 2021 NFL Draft

5 free agent WRs to replace Michael Gallup at WR3. light. Must Read

Next. Cowboys Draft: Could Charleston Rambo be the sleeper Dallas needs at slot?. dark

What other players are we forgetting about as the Dallas Cowboys look to improve in 2022?