Cowboys Sign a Rod Marinelli Prospect: DT Marvin Austin

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So far, the short career of defensive tackle Marvin Austin has been all-hype and no substance. As the newest addition to the Dallas Cowboys defensive line, coach Rod Marinelli hopes to reignite the fire under a young player who could have been a Top 15 player picked in the NFL Draft a mere three years ago.

Sep 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Marvin Austin (96) celebrates a tackle during the second quarter of their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

In 2011, Cowboys defensive line coach Marinelli (then a member of the Chicago Bears coaching staff) spent a lot of time with Austin prior to that year’s draft. The Bears were very interested in taking him despite reservations about some personal issues and his senior year suspension from North Carolina due to receiving “improper benefits”. ESPN’s Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said Austin could have gone early in the first round had he played his final season.

Despite the year suspension, Austin impressed at the 2011 East-West Shrine Game and was called unstoppable during practices. When it came to the game itself, National Football Post writer Dan Pompei called Austin “the best player there” after he scored a defensive touchdown. Austin continued to turn heads at the NFL Scouting Combine by bench pressing 225 pounds 38 times.

But Austin did poorly when it came to the interview portion of the combine. He earned a bad reputation among scouts for lacking leadership abilities and for being unwilling to take any kind of responsibility for his actions. Austin was even accused of being a “finger-pointing, excuse-making con artist.”

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  • Ed

    I’m sure he’s coming cheap and is easy to cut. What do we have to loose?

  • SmartThinking

    Marinelli is a true motivator of men. The most important and crucial gift he brings to the team, however, is how he’s taken a group of men who have been dropped by the wayside of professional football and given them the once-in-a-lifetime gift of a second chance to be great. From what I read on these Cowboy-oriented websites, I do not get the feeling Jerry Jones or his son have an appreciation for just how much these new arrivals bring to a defense that would be, quite frankly, nothing without their over-achieving efforts. I’ll bet if you asked George Selvie what he thinks of Marinelli for giving him an opportunity when absolutely no one else would, he’ll tell you he’d walk through fire for the man. These no-names, as they’re called, have banded together, Dirty Dozen-style to achieve what no one but Marinelli ever thought they could. And like those dirty twelve, their football lives depend on how well they perform with the last chance anyone in the game will ever give them.