The Cowboys’ defensive line need is so obvious that a seventh-round pick sees for himself the opportunity in front of him. Rookie Jordan Carrell, who arrived in Dallas weighing 300 pounds, said he has lost weight and gained speed since the draft.
Carrell, though, remains a project, likely needing time to convert from the 3-4 defense he played at Colorado to the Cowboys’ 4-3. He appears a better fit at end than at tackle.
“I’m very critical of myself and how I approach each day,” Carrell said, via Kevin Casas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If I make a simple mistake, I do what’s necessary not to repeat it.
“This isn’t slowing me down at all, but this is a whole lot different scheme from what we did at Colorado and the mechanics of how you approach each play with your footwork makes a big difference.”
Draft analysts didn’t give Carrell much chance for selection, but the Cowboys saw enough to take a flier with their final pick.
Carrell made 89 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks during his two seasons in Boulder. His 695 snaps last season were the most of any Colorado defensive player in 14 games.
Even with David Irving suspended for the first four games next season, and Randy Gregory suspended for the year, Carrell faces an uphill battle to make the Cowboys’ final roster. But Carrell’s odds to hear his name called probably were even longer, so he will take his chance.