Naming the best player-fit for each NFL team this coming offseason, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski connected the Cowboys to Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, a former pupil of defensive boss Dan Quinn who’s scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in March.
“The Cowboys defense has been very successful under the supervision of coordinator Dan Quinn,” Sobleski wrote of the ex-Falcons head coach. “The additions of Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee, both of whom played for Quinn with the Atlanta Falcons, helped the transition.
“Falcons linebacker Foyesade Oluokun earned a starting position under Quinn’s supervision despite coming into the league as a sixth-round draft pick. He currently leads the league with 179 total tackles. Maybe he signs on a lesser free-agent deal to rejoin Quinn, which would also open up more opportunities for Micah Parsons to be used all over the field.”
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A 2018 sixth-round draft pick, Oluokun is finishing off the final year of his rookie contract with the Falcons — and he’s enjoying a breakout, pacing the sport in total tackles while adding seven quarterback hits, six pass breakups, three interceptions, and two sacks across 16 starts. The Yale product ranks as Pro Football Focus‘ No. 66 LB among 86 qualifiers.
Oluokun, 26, attended high school at John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri, a private institution where he was teammates with Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott spoke on their chance meeting during a 2020 interview.
“It’s crazy,’’ he said, via ESPN.com. “It’s just really crazy, because where we went to high school, like – there weren’t really like Division I athletes. It was an academic school; it wasn’t a sports school. So for us to be in the same class, a class of 90 people — we had 90 people in our class. So for us to be in the same class, be really good friends, be teammates and then both end up going to get drafted from the school we came from — I mean we were the first two people drafted from that school, period.
“It’s weird that we both made it to the NFL. It’s exciting. I’m so happy for Foye. His journey was a little bit different than mine, but he’s definitely contributing and playing a lot for those guys and playing good ball.”
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Oluokun Could Offset Probable FA Defections
Assuming he doesn’t break the bank — the Cowboys are projected to be $13.218 million over the 2022 salary cap — Oluokun’s prospective acquisition would help counter the team likely losing linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Keanu Neal, both of whom are pending free agents.
In that scenario, Oluokun steps into an immediate starting role alongside Micah Parsons, boosting a run defense that ranks 15th in the NFL, surrendering 110.6 rushing yards per game under Quinn.
“The idea of a significant addition from outside the organization may come down to familiarity,” opined Sobleski.