The one knock on the Dallas Cowboys‘ 2020 rookie haul is the lack of devotion to edge rusher, the team having selected only fifth-round defensive end Bradlee Anae.
That changed in the moments following the NFL draft.
According to various media reports, as of this writing, the Cowboys signed 13 undrafted free agents — a group that features four pass-rushing prospects: Ron’Dell Carter, Ladarius Hamilton, Garrett Marino, and Azur Kamara.
Carter reunites with former James Madison teammate and quarterback Ben DiNucci, whom Dallas drafted in the seventh round. Carter, a Rutgers transfer, made 38 solo tackles and eight sacks across three seasons for the Dukes.
Hamilton was a four-year contributor at North Texas, compiling 67 solo tackles and 16 sacks over 43 career appearances. He totaled 7.5 sacks each of the past two seasons and put himself on the map at the Scouting Combine, where he ran the forty in 4.89 seconds, completed 27 bench press reps, and a 30-inch vertical jump.
“Played as an odd-front end for much of 2019, but will likely be targeted as a 4-3 base end as a pro,” NFL.com draft expert Lance Zierlein said of Hamilton. “Hamilton plays with good toughness and attitude, but his movement is heavy and extremely rigid. You won’t see him making a bunch of tackles, but he does have edge-setting strength and determination. He has steadily improved as a pass rusher, but athletic limitations could make it challenging to translate his college production into the pros.”
Marino registered 11 sacks across 27 games for UAB, adding 57 solo tackles, nine pass breakups, and three fumble recoveries. He was named First Team All-Conference USA in 2019.
Kamara is a long-limbed (6’3) and rocked-up (245 pounds) defensive end who’s raw but talented, notching 30 solo tackles and four sacks last season as a true senior.
“Kamara has just one season as a full-time starter at Kansas and, subsequently, one season of production,” Zierlein said. “Hip tightness limits his rush flow and makes his attacks rigid and linear. He’s missing instincts and feel to be able to play freely and fast against the run at this time. Putting more functional mass on his frame will be critical, if he can carry it. He’s tremendously raw and unskilled as a rusher, which might work in his favor for teams looking for a long-limbed project to build from the ground up.”
The Cowboys devoted offseason resources to boosting their pass rush after losing 2019 sack leader Robert Quinn to the Chicago Bears in free agency. The club also brought aboard defensive linemen Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy, and DE/outside linebacker Aldon Smith to pair with DeMarcus Lawrence and Jaylon Smith.
Dallas’ other UDFA additions, per media reports, include Rhode Island wide receiver Aaron Parker, Michigan tight end Sean McKeon, TCU fullback Seno Olonilua, Utah LB Frances Bernard, Portland State TE Charlie Taumoepeau, South Carolina running back Charlie Taumoepeau, Illinois State safety Luther Kirk, Texas Tech offensive tackle Terrence Steele, and Mississippi State WR Stephen Guidry.
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