FRISCO - Day 3 NFL Draft selection Jabril Cox is out to prove something to all the teams that allowed him to drop to the Dallas Cowboys in Round 4.
"I'm just glad Dallas picked me and I can show the whole league what they missed out on,'' Cox told 105.3 The Fan immediately after his selection.
And one expert envisions Cox proving plenty, listing the former LSU linebacker - thought by many, including the Cowboys - to be a second-round talent.
Writing at ESPN, Mike Brenner of Pro Football Focus is rating Cox as the No. 1 steal in this draft.
“The fact that the Cowboys even drafted Cox should tell you how high they were on his services,'' he writes. "The Cowboys took the LSU linebacker in the fourth round despite a relative logjam at off-the-ball linebacker, with Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, newly signed free agent Keanu Neal, and first-round pick Micah Parsons in the fold.''
Of course, Cowboys fans are aware that Vander Esch and Smith could be in their final seasons in Dallas, and that Neal signed just a one-year deal here. So it is possible to think of Parsons and Cox as the future core of this group.
For now? All of those guys are ahead of Cox. So figure him as a special-teams helper to start - he runs a 4.5 40 - and as a chess piece to be used by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as this thing progresses.
Eventually, Cox can be a "coverage linebacker,'' as PFF points out.
“Cox was the 45th-ranked player on PFF’s draft board and has earned coverage grades over 80.0 in each of the past three seasons between North Dakota State and LSU,'' PFF writes. "He saw only 41 targets this past season, but Cox still picked off three passes and broke up four more. He may not play right away, but don’t be surprised when he locks down a starting role in Dallas.”
That is a concept for the Cowboys' future. But for now? They, and Jabril Cox, get to celebrate the idea of being the No. 1 "steal'' of the NFL Draft.