FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys could find their answer for a long-term safety in former Oregon Ducks defensive back Jevon Holland, who also has quite the sense of humor.
"I'd love to be a Cowboy, always wanted to walk around like Clint Walker," said Holland in an exclusive visit with CowboysSI.
Holland is referencing Walker, an actor who played cowboy Cheyenne Bodie in the ABC/Warner Bros. western series “Cheyenne” from 1955 to 1963.
Holland has spoke with the Cowboys in interviews in the pre-draft process and CowboysSI.com sources have connected Dallas with the versatile 6-foot-1 safety via its second round, 44th overall pick.
Personally, I covered Holland's two-year career at Oregon and remember the ear-catching comments from Oregon coach Mario Cristobal regarding his athleticism.
"I won’t kid you that he’s actually a better wide receiver than he is a DB, but we’re not going to make that move anytime soon," half-joked Cristobal.
I also cannot forget Holland's electric performance at AT&T Stadium when Oregon played Auburn in their 2019 season opener.
Holland's performance made him the first FBS player since 2007 with 130 punt return yards and an interception in the same game. His electrifying 81-yard punt return in the second quarter was the longest punt return in a college game at AT&T Stadium. The ball-hawk intercepted his sixth career interception when he picked off Auburn quarterback Bo Nix in the second quarter.
In two seasons with the Ducks, Holland totaled 108 tackles with nine interceptions. Holland played his last game as a Duck in the 2020 Rose Bowl against Wisconsin. He chose to opt-out of the 2020 college football season during the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Dallas is expected to go defense in the 2021 NFL draft. The Cowboys struggled heavily on that side of the ball in 2020, with particular glaring needs in the secondary. With Chidobe Awuizie leaving for Cincinnati and the news of long-time linebacker Sean Lee retiring, the entire defense is in need of a makeover.
Holland is listed by many as one of the top two safeties in the draft class (behind TCU’s Trevon Moehrig) and typically falls into a late-first-round to early-third-round draft projection... Making him an intriguing option for the Cowboys looking for a ballhawk.
Intriguing to Dallas… And as I have learned, intriguing to Holland as well.