Dallas Cowboys: Will this talented defender fall to 58?
The Dallas Cowboys retain their war daddy in DeMarcus Lawrence with a big payout. The ‘Boys still need help in the middle. Say hello to Mr. Tillery.
The Dallas Cowboys have a rich, young and talented defense. With the 2019 NFL Draft getting closer, the Cowboys aim to make the defense even richer. With DeMarcus Lawrence securing the edge for years to come after signing a mega contract, the ‘Boys look to fatten up the middle of the line.
Enter defensive tackle Jerry Tillery out of Notre Dame. Over the offseason, the Cowboys silently stocked the talent cabinet with roster fillers. Dallas bought insurance policies by grabbing quality rotation players while keeping dollars in the bank. Best of all, this blueprint allows America’s Team to select the best player available over drafting for need.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones stresses his desire for war daddies. The Dallas Cowboys enter 2019 with an elite defense, so grabbing quality pass rushers with major upsides down the road is a plus.
Mr. Tillery was disruptive in 2018 at Notre Dame. A four-year college guy, he finished 2018 with eight sacks, three forced fumbles, and 29 tackles. On September 29, he totaled four sacks and a forced fumble in a game against Stanford.
Standing at six-foot-seven and 305 pounds, Tillery displays athleticism and speed for a defensive tackle. He had offensive line duties in high school as well. A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, the athletic Tillery has demonstrated command over his body and movement. He ran 4.93 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine.
There are several big questions around this defensive tackle. One, will he fall out of the first round and more importantly, will he be there at number 58 for the Dallas Cowboys? Do the ‘Boys go for him or a safety, someone like Juan Thornhill who I wrote about last week?
Finally, and perhaps more important, can Jerry Tillery develop into a player worthy of a second-round tender, who will become the Cowboys first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft barring any trade ups from Jerry Jones and company.
The strengths and potential for Tillery are clear. He is tall. Fast. Muscular for a big boy on the front line. Best of all, these attributes come with a moveable needle. He’s only 22 years old, turning 23 in October, so there’s a lot of growing left in the tank.
The key question around him is if he can become a consistent, disruptive player. We’ll see how this all shakes out very soon.