Marist Liufau earning respect of Dallas Cowboys veterans; exciting coaching staff

Rookie linebacker Marist Liufau has been making a positive impression during his short time with the Dallas Cowboys.
Marist Liufau, Dallas Cowboys
Marist Liufau, Dallas Cowboys / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

In need of depth at linebacker, the Dallas Cowboys used the No. 87 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft on Notre Dame linebacker Marist Liufau. The pick was met with criticism since the need for a running back was deemed stronger and USC's MarShawn Lloyd was on the board.

Lloyd went to the Green Bay Packers with the following pick and will forever be compared to Liufau. If early indications are to be believed, the Cowboys will be thrilled with those comparisons.

Liufau has been turning heads during camp due to his athletic ability and incredible thirst for knowledge.

RELATED: Marist Liufau tabbed 'draft-day steal' following praise from Mike Zimmer

Third-year linebacker Damone Clark has been impressed by the rookie, calling him a "sponge," adding that he's going to be "one of them Ones."

He asks a lot of questions. He goes out there and does everything 110 percent. He gives his all on every play, and the sky is the limit for him. Marist is going to be one of them ones.

Damone Clark on Marist Liufau

Liufau is preparing for his first-ever NFL training camp and said things have been going smoothly thus far. He admitted there have been a lot of adjustments but believes he will find a routine that works for him.

RELATED: Meeting the Dallas Cowboys 2024 draft class: Marist Liufau

I'd say the biggest adjustment is learning how to be a pro. Just learning how to be a pro and, obviously, it's a new environment — everything's different. So [it's about] creating your new routine. As you get here, as a rookie, find a routine that works for you.

Liufau via Patrik Walker

The rookie says the faster he can create his own routine, the quicker he can help on the field. He praised Clark and veteran Eric Kendricks, saying they've become close and have helped him along the way as he figures this out and learns the playbook.

Dallas was thin at linebacker in 2023, turning to Markquese Bell out of necessity. The safety played well at the position, but having more size should be a welcome addition to the defense.

Liafau joins Kendricks, Clark, and DeMarvion Overshown in a linebacking corps that looks drastically different than what we saw last year, and that could be a good thing.

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Randy Gurzi


Arizona State grad