The Dallas Cowboys felt like a lock to select a running back or interior offensive linemen with their fourth-round pick. When push came to shove, though, they invested another pick in Dan Quinn's defense, selecting San Jose State edge rusher Viliami Fehoko with the No. 129 overall pick.
Fehoko is the third defensive player the Cowboys have drafted with their four picks. You have to wonder if their plans changed after guards Anthony Bradford and Chandler Zavala and running back Roschon Johnson were drafted early in the fourth round, but Fehoko represents another intriguing young defensive lineman for Quinn t mold.
The 6-foot-4, 276-pound Fehoko was a one-man wrecking crew at San Jose State. Over the last three years, he amassed an impossible 47 tackles for loss. That averages out to just under 16 TFLs per season.
In 2022 alone, he totaled 69 tackles, nine sacks and 19 tackles for loss. That was (plenty) enough for Fehoko to take home Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Cowboys select DL Viliami Fehoko with No. 129 overall pick in fourth round
Surprisingly, Fehoko marks the Cowboys' first investment in a prospect who isn't an elite athlete. Mazi Smith, Luke Schoonmaker and DeMarvion Overshown are all some of the best athletes at their respective positions.
Fehoko, meanwhile, scored a 5.34 relative athletic score, but we wouldn't read too much into it as he's someone who can play inside and outside. And what he lacks in high-end athleticism he more than makes up for with a relentless motor.
It's clear the Cowboys wanted to get better against the run in the draft. Well, Fehoko's run-defense grade ranked in the 99th percentile, per PFF. The Athletic's John Machota reported Fehoko is viewed as a player who can bulk up and become a three-technique tackle, which better suits his skillset than lining up on the edge.
We'd expect Dallas to close out the draft with a focus on the offense, but you won't find us complaining about them about beefing up the weak spots on their already-elite defense.