Cowboys Predicted to Add Defensive Award-Winner Despite Recent Arrest

Cowboys potential draftee T'Vondre Sweat

Getty T'Vondre Sweat.

Based on ability, the possibility of the Cowboys landing Texas defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat with a late second-rounder sounds like a very, very good deal. Sweat enters the NFL draft with a stacked trophy cabinet: He was an Outland Trophy winner in 2023, as well as a unanimous All-American and the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year. In 14 games last year, he recorded 45 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 4 pass break-ups and one blocked kick.

But there is more involved with Sweat than what he accomplished last season with the Longhorns. Sweat was arrested April 7 on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to the Travis County sheriff’s office in Texas.

Still, Sweat could well be worth the risk for the Cowboys, and at, team writer Patrik Walker projects Dallas taking its chances with Sweat despite the looming legal issue.

Wrote Walker: “I know there’s a legal situation to be sorted out here by Sweat, but I was honestly shocked to see him still on the board when I went on the clock at No. 56. That’s because outside of the aforementioned legal battle, there isn’t some laundry list of reports of him being a consistent problem off of the field at Texas.”

T’Vondre Sweat: Forgivable Mistake or Bigger Issue?

That assessment of Sweat is debatable, though, and that’s one reason he could slip not only to the Cowboys late in the second round, but also out of the second round all together. There are questions, even, of whether he will be a Day 2 pick at all. projects him as a fourth-rounder, noting that his 366-pound playing weight is a concern. His 40-yard dash time was the slowest among all defensive linemen at 5.27 seconds, the slowest of any non-offensive lineman.

ESPN’s Matt Miller weighed in on Sweat’s draft status following his arrest and suggested, too, he would be a Day 3 pick.

“Considered a Day 2 prospect by most evaluators, Sweat’s stock is in jeopardy following the arrest,” Miller wrote. “The period between the combine and draft is often a test for prospects, and Sweat’s arrest this close to the draft limits the time he has to explain the incident to teams and assuage concerns.

“Because of that — and concerns over his playing weight at 366 pounds — most teams I’ve spoken to believe he’s a Day 3 selection.”

Cowboys Need a Run-Stopper Up Front

So the question for the Cowboys would be whether they feel Sweat’s arrest was a one-off poor decision by a 22-year-old collegian or a potentially wider sign of trouble. The question, too, is whether a second-round pick is too high for a guy they might be able to wait on, given the new questions that have been raised.

No doubt, the Cowboys need some help on the defensive line and if Sweat is being unfairly dinged because of his arrest, then he is a big-time value at a position of need. Yes, he is big, and no, he is not mobile. But what Dallas needs is a large man to plop in the idle of the defensive line and clog up running lanes.

Sweat can do that, as Walker points out: “Sweat can’t be stopped with only one blocker. That’s a Lunchable to him. He’ll devour double teams that will allow others on the Cowboys’ defensive line to eat well, e.g., Mazi Smith, Osa Odighizuwa and especially Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence.

“But it’s not simply that Sweat can’t be moved, it’s that he moves those who are trying to move him.”

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