Dallas Cowboys: 5 Small-school draft prospects you need to know

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys continue to hunt for pass rushers. It’s no secret that Will McDonald and Nolan Smith are in the Cowboys’ line of sight. However, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to land either of those two players.

Andre Jones from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is trying to find a job in the NFL as a quarterback hunter and could be a possibility for Dallas in later rounds. I’m a bit partial to this prospect as he represents the same alma mater as I do. Beyond that, he has the size that would fit the modern-day NFL pass rusher. He is listed as 6’4″ 250lbs. If we were talking ten years ago, the expectation would be for him to play a linebacker type position. Luckily, those times are gone, and this prospect is ready to attack the passer.

Over his final two seasons, he was able to accumulate just over 7 sacks per season. He looks very comfortable and violent attacking the line of scrimmage. To be completely honest, the Rajun Cajuns asked him to drop back some which is when he looked a bit out of place. The other knock on him would be the time he spent in college. He was at the collegiate level for a grand total of 6 seasons. With that, you should expect an older prospect in his rookie season.

What may impact Jones is his injury history. It caught up with him once again at the NFL Combine. He suffered a hamstring injury while he was running the 40-yard dash. If you’re checking his athletic testing, that’s why you’ll only see his broad jump of 9’8″ and vertical of 29″ on NFL.com. Reports indicated that the 40-yard dash would have been south of a 4.8 but that’s unconfirmed at this point.

Where could the Cowboys use a player like this? This isn’t the first time Dallas looked in the later rounds for a pass rusher. Bradlee Anae played at Utah and the Cowboys used a fifth-round pick on the player. I’m looking more toward the 6th to 7th rounds for Andre Jones but there’s a heck of a lot of value at that point. He fits a profile that Dan Quinn has identified. Micah Parsons and Sam Williams have a similar physical makeup.

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The injury may run Dallas in a different direction, but he still fits the bill of a true NFL prospect at a small school program.