For the second consecutive year, the Cowboys have drafted a Texas Tech defender. Last year, it was DE/OLB Brandon Williams. This year, it's defensive back Jamar Wall.
Playing for Texas Tech, Jamar Wall has seen his fair share of Big-12 wideouts and has gone head-to-head against Dallas' first-rounder, Dez Bryant, in college. He practiced daily against TT's Michael Crabtree. Wall knows that he must draw upon what he learned from these experiences to grow professionally as an NFL cornerback.
"He's out there to prove something, too," Wall told The Daily Toreador regarding Bryant. "So therefore I'm going to get my work in against him and all those others guys, Miles Austin, and everyone out there to help me improve my game so we can be a successful team."
Evidently, Wall had some difficulties keeping up with Bryant, Manny Johnson, and Jesse Holley during this past week's rookie mini-camp. But he was the team's second 6th-round pick, 196th overall. And from the little I've seen and read of Wall, he sounds to be a tough, physical defensive back--not so much the "cover corner" type of player. We may get a better read on him with shoulder pads on.
Many folks expected the Cowboys to nab a CB at some point in this year's draft. And if a late pick, as Wall was, then the player must play special teams. Showing off to coach Joe DeCamillis looks to be Wall's best shot for a ticket on the team.
Whether it's Wall or somebody else, the Cowboys do have a depth need at cornerback.
Aside from Terence Newman, the cornerback position is a young one for the Cowboys. Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick just completed their sophomore seasons. Alan Ball was drafted just the year before those two, but he will be pushing for the starting job at free safety. Cletis Gordon started one game during his three year career with the Chargers. With Ball playing FS, then that could conceivably make Gordon the #4 CB on this defense.
Now, Gordon will be active in the return game, so he does offer some special teams abilities as any other fourth CB should. Surely, the team would appreciate it if such young upstarts as Wall and UDFA Bryann McCann were to push Gordon.
Just a few years ago, the Cowboys waived Alan Ball his rookie season and popped him on the practice squad for 14 games. After some seasoning and by showing his versatility, Ball is in position to be the starting free safety for the Dallas Cowboys. I am not saying that we can expect anything like this from Wall, but look how far Ball has come. He was a 7th rounder.
Coach Phillips and Dave Campo brought Ball along slowly and it worked. Maybe they will have some of that magic left for Wall. Let's see what they say about their new player.
"Wall is a competitor and that's what I like about him," Cowboys secondary coach Dave Campo said after the first day of rookie minicamp last week.
"He's tough and he competes. But he's got a long way to go, just like all of these [rookies], because they don't know what we do."
"Getting depth is real important because we have one position where we don't have a legitimate starter from last year," Campo said. "We need to find some guys, and there are always battles for the backup spots because a lot of it is involved in special teams. These young guys really have a chance to make the team."
Jamar Wall is a tough, athletic guy that fits our mold as far as defensive backs.
Jerry Jones, after the draft:
Texas Tech’s Jamar Wall (sixth round, 196th overall selection) certainly has great experience. We know one thing, he did practice a lot against the pass out there at Texas Tech so he’s had a lot of reps in practice.
Wall's response to Jerry Jones' draft day question about playing safety:
"I told him I played a little in high school and had to learn it last year because of some injuries to guys," Wall said.
"I might have to step in and play some safety, you never know. As many positions as they want me to play, I’ll play.
DC.com's conference call with Wall.
Wall was highly recruited out of high school as a running back. Check out his athleticism here during his days at Plainview.
Hailing from Plainview, TX, Wall is excited to be a Dallas Cowboy.
"It's a great feeling,'' said Wall.
"Going anywhere would have been a great feeling. But staying in Dallas, it's even better. It's still close to home. My family can come to every home game, and playing with (Cowboys linebacker) Brandon Williams again, who's a great friend, I'm looking forward to that also.''
Wall discussed his disappointment on not being able to participate in the combine because of a pulled hamstring, which he then reinjured at Texas Tech's pro day.
"You can't even explain it in words," said Wall, who added that he has fully recovered and will be ready for next weekend's rookie minicamp.
"I know I could have proven myself to teams."
The Star-T's skinny on Wall, pre-draft.
Jamar Wall, Texas Tech, 5-10, 204, 4.52. One of the school's all-time best cornerbacks, Wall could be drafted late.
Judging by NFL.com's analysis of Wall as a pro prospect, he sounds to be a 'tweener type of player who could, like Ball, offer the Cowboys something at both CB and FS.
For much more on Wall, Dave's Scouting report from Double T Nation offers the SBN insider's perspective. The article also shows Wall's devastating hit on Kansas' Jake Sharp. Wall's other big hit on YouTube is when he greeted Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson at the 4-yard line.
In last Sunday's poll, "Your Favorite Cowboys Late-Round Selection", Wall received the least amount of votes from BTBers.
21% Sam Young (358 votes)
13% Jamar Wall (228 votes)
65% Sean Lissemore (1098 votes)
In the final installment of this series, we look into what they're saying about the player the majority of you voted for: Sean Lissemore.