The draft started out about as traditional as it possibly could. A Texas Running Back going early. A Wisconsin Center coming off the board to the Dallas Cowboys. Then the winds change with the Cowboys going to small schools in back to back picks when they select Safety Marte Mapu from Sacramento State.
The Safety room is quite full for the Cowboys with their top three contributors returning in Jayron Kearse, Donovan Wilson and Malik Hooker. Behind them is a 2022 addition through Rookie Priority Free Agency in Markquese Bell.
One thing about this Dan Quinn defense and an area that fits Mapu perfectly is the ability to split time between Safety and Linebacker. The move sets the Cowboys up to be flexible in both rooms in and beyond the 2023 season.
Even before mentioning his measurables, you already have an idea what the player probably looks like just from the premise that Quinn targeted him as the pick. At 6’3″ 221lbs and 33 1/2″ arms, Mapu fits the mold you’ve come to expect.
In his final two seasons at Sac St., Mapu compiled 141 tackles with 12 behind the LOS, a forced fumble and seven interceptions.
As a matter of fact, the team may have very well had an internal battle between their offensive and defensive minds with the Cowboys DC pounding the table for “his guy” in round three. The offense, however, won that battle.
To the pleasure of Dallas, Mapu remains on the board, perhaps in part due to a pectoral injury he suffered after the season that required surgery. Maybe it was his small school status. But no matter the reason, when Quinn sees his guy is still there in the forth round he alerts the shot callers of the Flashing Blue Light shining in his starry eyes.