Cowboys Sign Defensive Lineman to 4-Year Contract

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Getty Dallas Cowboys huddle

And then there were two.

On Monday, the Dallas Cowboys announced the signing of third-round rookie defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa.

Odighizuwa received a four-year contract, as per the NFL’s slotted wage system. According to Spotrac, the UCLA product will earn roughly $660,000 in base salary and count $924,761 against the team’s salary cap for the 2021 campaign.

Odighizuwa becomes the ninth member of Dallas’ 11-player draft class to put pen to paper, joining first-round linebacker Micah Parsons, second-round cornerback Kelvin Joseph, fourth-round linebacker Jabril Cox, fourth-round offensive tackle Josh Ball, fifth-round wide receiver Simi Fehoko, sixth-round defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna, sixth-round CB Israel Mukuamu, and seventh-round offensive guard Matt Farniok.

Left unsigned are third-round defensive end Chauncey Golston and third-round cornerback Nahshon Wright.

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Background Info & Projected Role

Before arriving in Dallas, Odighizuwa was a decorated collegian at UCLA. The 6-foot-2, 280-pound defender racked up 120 total tackles (67 solo, 27.5 for loss), 11.5 sacks and two forced fumbles across 37 career games for the Bruins from 2017-2020. He earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a senior, notching 12 solo stops, six TFLs, and four sacks over seven appearances.

The brother of ex-New York Giants DE Owa Odighizuwa, Osa’s biggest asset is positional flexibility; he’s able to effectively plug the run and get after the passer, though he requires next-level refinement in the latter department.

“Osa Odighizuwa is a good athlete with good agility and balance,” noted Drae Harris of The Draft Network. “He plays with good natural leverage and is tough against the run. He plays with good effort and hustle to locate the football. In the passing game, he offers value on the edge or reduced down inside. He penetrates gaps and uses his good natural leverage as a bull rusher. He has some explosion in his hips and has shown flashes of upside as a rusher. He lacks ideal size, which may hinder him as an every-down player in the NFL unless he’s used as a defensive end.”

Odighizuwa projects as a situational contributor for the Cowboys, rotating along the defensive line with Trysten Hill, Neville Gallimore, and Bohanna. He was primarily stationed at defensive tackle during the club’s offseason practices.

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Parsons Contract Details

Like all incoming rookies, Parsons received a standard-issue four-year pact. Like all first-round selections, the contract for the No. 12 overall choice is fully guaranteed and includes a fifth-year team option for 2025.

According to CBS Sports salary cap expert Joel Corry, a former sports agent, the total value of Parsons’ deal should check in around $17,079,793. He’s taking home a $9,781,668 signing bonus and will count $3,105,417 against the Cowboys’ 2021 cap.

Parsons became the Cowboys’ third-highest-paid LB in terms of cap dollars, behind veteran Leighton Vander Esch ($3.679 million) and ahead of free-agent addition Tarell Basham ($2.5 million).

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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