Dallas Cowboys Draft: Sam LaPorta setting up for a second round steal

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The art of deception is alive and well within the confines of The Star in Frisco. The Dallas Cowboys are no longer the leaky boat they once were; spilling secrets and tipping off competitors at every corner. These days they are a tightly sealed hull with a particular fondness for illusion and misdirection.

The weeks (and months, ready) leading up to the draft, the Dallas Cowboys were leading  NFL insiders astray with tales of their interest in a TE at 26. Their desires were so “well known” Buffalo felt compelled to jump ahead of Dallas to grab Dalton Kincaid. A guy Dallas wasn’t actually going to pick.

The draft is setting up nicely for Sam LaPorta to fall right into the Dallas Cowboys laps at 58

The Cowboys didn’t lie about their interest in a TE. They need one. They just didn’t feel compelled to pick one in the first round. Multiple teams felt that way, which explains why only one went off the board when three were rated in the top-32 (per the consensus board).

Now the Dallas Cowboys are in the fortunate position of picking from whoever slips through the cracks. And that prospect could be Iowa tight end, Sam LaPorta

Sam LaPorta is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft. He comes from a program known for producing quality players at his position and comes NFL-ready in more ways than one.

As Dane Brugler reported, a scout said this of LaPorta:

"“Sam isn’t quite (Noah) Fant or (TJ) Hockenson, but he’s tougher than both of them…he competes like (George Kittle).”"

LaPorta is a high character player who teammates and coaches adore. He’s not a dominant blocker at his size, but he’s extremely willing and can block in multiple situations (inline, front side, back side, on the move, stacked behind the LOS, etc…).

The Dallas Cowboys saw how important willingness was firsthand with Dalton Schultz. Schultz started his career as a blocker but seemed to lose his interest in the task as his pass catching prowess grew.

LaPorta can play all the roles. At Iowa, LaPorta lined up in the slot, as a traditional Y, in the backfield and even flexed out on the boundary. The Dallas Cowboys used Schultz as an X the past two seasons from time to time (without much success) and could use an experienced player like LaPorta (who logged 65 snaps outside in 2022).

LaPorta’s 4.59 speed and fairly nuanced route running will be difficult for most linebackers and safeties to cover. He possesses more than enough speed to stretch the seam (something Dallas has needed since Blake Jarwin) and his run after the catch is nothing short of elite.

He’s a weapon in the screen game and can elevate the Dallas Cowboys offense at all three levels of the passing game. And again, he can and will block in the running game.

dark. Next. Best Day 2 options on the board

Sam LaPorta is setting up to be a second round steal. Can he fall all the way to 58? We’ll see but if the Dallas Cowboys can get him, he’d elevate the offense to new levels.