'I'm A Playmaker': Rookie Anae Gets 4-Year, $3.532M Deal - And Gets His Chance

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - Needing pass rush depth heading into next season the Dallas Cowboys opted for the best one left on the board, selecting Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae with the 179th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. And on Saturday, his Cowboys employment is official as he signed his four-year rookie contract.

"I'm just a playmaker overall," Anae told 105.3 the Fan on draft day. "My strong suits would probably be my work ethic and my ability to make plays, be productive."

Anae's deal, according to CowboysSI.com sources: $3.532 million, with a $238,000 signing bonus. With that behind him comes ... opportunity.

According to the Draft Network Anae is a quality hand-fighter with an above-average first step and a great work ethic. He’s not perfect, of course. No day three pick is. But he has a good foundation to develop.

In his time with the Utes, Anae was part of one of the best defenses in the Pac 12, finishing his career with 131 total tackles, 29.5 sacks, and 40 tackles for loss in four seasons.

Anae also had two fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles, as arguably Utah's most disruptive player along the defensive front.

With this pick, the Cowboys have also secured a player who was a consensus first-team All-American in 2019 and a two-time first-team All-Pac 12 performer in 2018 and 2019.

The Utah product was also the Morris Award winner last season, an honor that goes the Pac 12's best defensive lineman, and was a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award, which is awarded to college football's top defensive end.

Anae also ranked number 89 on Dane Brugler's draft board, marking five picks in Brugler's top 100 for the Cowboys in this draft.

But moving on? Dallas' top ends are DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford and Aldon Smith. Randy Gregory remains in NFL limbo. New coach Mike McCarthy wants to keep six defensive ends. There is room for a newcomer ...

CowboysSI.com broke the news that all the picks were signed on Saturday, complete with the seven rookies' contract breakdowns. The full team training camp reporting day at The Star is Tuesday.

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