With the 115th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected linebacker Jabril Cox out of LSU. The Cowboys are remaking their defense, and are remaking their linebacker corps. Dan Quinn seems to be brining in linebackers who fit his scheme. He is also a fast athlete, a seemingly necessary trait for the Cowboys this year. Cox is known as an excellent coverage linebacker which is a must-have in today’s pass-happy NFL. He also represents good value in the fourth round.
The only real difference in studying his tape from North Dakota State and LSU is that Cox looks substantially more explosive than everyone else on the field for the Bison. He looks like he fits right in with the athletes at LSU, though. He’ll need to be placed in a scheme where he can play proactive, attacking football rather than getting bogged down as a thinker. He’s extremely fast with verified playmaking traits and credentials. His cover talent could help him quickly get on the field. He’s below average in diagnosing and using his hands, which can put him in recovery mode at times. However, traits and talent should be enough to overcome those issues and help make him a solid, three-down starter within the first couple of seasons.
Jabril Cox enjoyed a standout high school career where he played multiple positions and starred in both football and basketball but didn’t receive much interest coming out as a recruit. He spent three seasons at North Dakota State where he was outstanding. After being named the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year in 2017, Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2018, and being a two-time FCS All-American, Cox opted to level up and compete in the SEC before entering the NFL. Cox is an outstanding coverage linebacker that thrives in space. He is terrific in both man and zone coverage, making him an ideal matchup linebacker that can handle tight ends, running backs, and some slot receivers. He has terrific range, mobility, and his motor always runs hot. When it comes to areas of concern for Cox, run defense, playing through contact, and being consistent with being an assignment-sound defender are the primary areas that need growth. Cox profiles as a productive NFL starter that brings a rare coverage skill set to the table.
- Round 1, pick 12 – LB Micah Parsons
- Round 2, pick 44 – CB Kelvin Joseph
- Round 3, pick 75 – DT Osa Odighizuwa
- Round 3, pick 84 – EDGE Chauncey Gholston
- Round 3, pick 99 – CB Nahshon Wright
- Round 4, pick 115 – LB Jabril Cox
- Round 4, pick 138
- Round 5, pick 179
- Round 6, pick 192
- Round 6, pick 227
- Round 7, pick 238
CB – It’s the most popular position for the Cowboys to use their #10 pick on. Chidobe Awuzie departed in free agency from a group that wasn’t very strong to begin with. Trevon Diggs is a piece to build on, but the Cowboys need help.
OL – Injury and age are catching up to various pieces of the Cowboys once-vaunted offensive line. Tyron Smith has an uncertain long-term future, and the middle of the line still has question marks.
DL – The Cowboys could use an infusion of talent at both defensive tackle and defensive end. Expect both positions to be among the picks this weekend. LB – Sean Lee retired, Joe Thomas left in free agency, and the Cowboys are undecided on Leighton Vander Esch’s fifth-year option. This is a need that has been building this offseason.
S – The Cowboys signed a few free agents to go with Donovan Wilson, but they were mostly one-year contracts. The long-term stability of the position is in doubt, and the small sample size of Wilson’s work only adds to that.