November 3, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (10) tackles Illinois Fighting Illini running back Donovonn Young (5) after a short gain at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 52-22. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Shazier: Talented but Not a Good Fit In Dallas


This week I’m going to take a look at Ryan Shazier, a talented linebacker prospect that the Cowboys could get in the second round. Linebacker isn’t more urgent of a need than defensive line, however if Shazier drops to the Cowboys in the second round, it’ll be very tempting to take the talented linebacker prospect.

What really impressed me about Shazier is his speed. This guy is a sideline to sideline defender. At his pro day yesterday, Shazier ran an unofficial 4.36 40. Standing at 6’1 and 237 lb, Shazier reminds me of our very own Bruce Carter. Both players have rare speed and athleticism at the linebacker position. There are many similarities in their game, which ultimately makes me believe that Shazier would not be a good fit for the Cowboys.

Firstly, we already have a player that has the same physical skillset as him in Bruce Carter. Shazier is a fit at weakside linebacker, and would be competing against Carter for a starting role. Secondly, Shazier is an undisciplined player. He often has late hits and can be seen chirping opposing players. Shazier is not the kind of player Garrett would want on the field. The Cowboys already struggle with penalties, so it would not be wise to bring in another player that may be a liability. Thirdly, his tackling ability is lacking. He does not wrap up on his tackle and this often leads to many broken or missed tackles. In a bend-don’t-break scheme, the defenders cannot allow big plays. Their tackling needs to be reliable so they can live another down. Solid tackling is needed in this scheme, and Shazier does not have that skill yet. Lastly, Shazier is easily taken out of the game by blockers. He needs to learn how to get off of his blocks. In the Cowboys defensive scheme, the defensive linemen are usually smaller. This means that blockers are more likely to get to the second level, which would render Shazier useless. On another team I think Shazier can be a superstar, but he is just not a good fit for the Cowboys.

Shazier is an impressive prospect with a very high ceiling. He has rare speed and quickness, but has shown almost no ability to get off his blockers and needs to improve on his tackling technique. His weaknesses will hold him back in our scheme, and this defense need players that can contribute right away. Shazier is an incredibly fun prospect to watch, but I would hope the Cowboys will shy away from him.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Draft Ryan Shazier

  • Juanito Juanito

    this guy could be a very good pick for cowboys, cartes is a bust, or he could be competitive for carter

  • i agree

    Shazier is ah BEEEEAST!!!!!!

  • Scott.

    That size and speed is rare, if he’s there in 2nd and top 5 offensive guards are gone jump on this cat…hell I watched a lot of bad tackling what’s one more at least he will get to runner first and slow him down for the Calvary to come make the tackle.

  • MercWithaMouth

    Annnnd that is what gets the Cowboys in trouble… Passing on guys who have “superstar” potential because they have someone with the same traits already on the team. Competition that’s what it’s about and if he can push Carter to be better or take over Carter’s spot then it would be stupid not to grab him.

  • aprado

    I don’t agree with writing career off yet. Kiffin didn’t cater to his players, marinelli will. All these young players will benefit from that type of coach and finally some consistency on defense will be huge. Don’t be surprised if this defense turns it around quick. We have allot not talent then most fans give credit. With a few pieces on D I.e Spencer,DT, and a solid draft this team will impress. Remember the no name titans, the no name Seahawks a few years ago. Don’t write your young players off so soon ,especially when they have been changing systems ever year or so.