Earlier today, we presented the first half of an interview conducted with one of the hopefuls. Brandon Magee, of Arizona State, went undrafted but was approached by a dozen teams interested in adding his services to their team this summer. The Cowboys won that battle and he'll wear a star on his helmet; probably as soon as Jason Garrett decides the rooks have earned them.
I was able to touch base with Brandon to get some insight into his path to Dallas. In Part I, we covered several topics, including where he expects to play (Mike LB to start), what his pre-draft visit entailed (JJ and classroom tests) and whether or not the other NFC East teams showed interest (Mum). You can read the transcript here.
If you'd prefer to listen to the interview in it's entirety,Parts I and II, feel free to click to catch my Cowboys Crunchtime with KD, Episode 2.2 Podcast. It includes the interview, but also includes my review of the linebacker depth chart.
Without further ado, here's the second half of the transcript.
BloggingTheBoys: Now you did lose your 2011 season to the Achilles injury, what leg was that on?
BM: 2011, that was on my left leg. Man, when I went down, it was a bummer. I was down for about a day or two. But then after that, I was like, man I can't be down about an Achilles injury that I received playing football. When I go outside and I see people in a wheelchair, people with crutches, people with no arms, no legs, no fingers, and people at war that fight for us, that die everyday...
I'd be a selfish guy to complain about tearing my Achilles and missing one season, knowing I could come back. So after that I just worked my tail off to have a great 2012 season and I did just that and I was just happy that everything worked out.
KD: Do you feel like you're back to 100% now or do you think there's still some room for you to return back to top form?
BM: I feel like there's still some room to grow. I mean tearing your Achilles is a long process. At the beginning of the year, and I was able to play through the whole season, but you yourself know that there's a ways to go, getting all your speed back, your explosiveness in your calves, and all that stuff to be back to where you were and I believe I can still increase that. So I'm looking forward to getting back to tip top shape.
KD: Now, when I was doing all of my research predraft and one of the things that I kept coming up on was the fact that you're a two-sport star, you were drafted by the Red Sox... I think you're actually under contract with them... you're not gonna leave to go play in the World Series are you?
BM: (Laughs) No man, I'm a Cowboy. I did sign a contract with the Red Sox though, but I am a Cowboy.
KD: OK because they're balling right now , you know they had a down year last year but they're balling right now so that might be glistening in your eye right now seeing what they're doing.
BM: (Laughs) Naw I'm totally focused on making the Cowboys right now.
KD: Now, I did watch a video cut up of your game against Oregon last year. Obviously Chip Kelly's system, everybody knows that it's high speed high octane all the time. Describe to me what you think your performance was like in that game.
BM: I'm not gonna lie to you, Oregeon has to be one of the [worst] performances in life... honestly, I feel like we went into a game not able to play against a team that was that high tempo. We had a lot of confusion. My play was not the best in that game. There were [other] games where I did way better than that.
But you know what? I went home, and I put on a smile and I said I'm gonna learn from this game and I'm gonna be better next game. I'm not down for a long time man, you gotta always get back up.
KD: Even in that game, there was a sequence where you were defending at the goal line and you came in and popped Kenjon Barner and stopped him and then the very next play you got a hit on the quarterback but he was able to bounce off and get a trash, toss-away that ended up going for a touchdown. What's that like when you're that close to making a big play for your team?
BM: When you're that close to making a play? It hurts, it really does hurt. Especially because I had him... I had him man, I had him. That would've been a huge play and you see him flick that thing and they go into the end zone... but being a captain on the Arizona State team you go back to the bench you say "my fault my bad, lets get ‘em on the next drive."
You got to keep going, that's just how life is man there's ups and downs but regardless of what happens you got to keep going. That's how I play, because if you let that one play affect you you're just gonna have a horrible game.
KD: Our head coach Jason Garrett, the thing he loves best about prospects is he loves to bring in players that are captains, that are leaders for their team because if you have a team of 53 leaders than you're gonna be better prepared on game day. What's the role of a captain when it comes down to game day and preparation during the week?
BM: The main role is this. During the week, the film preparation and understanding what we're doing on the defensive side of the ball. Then understanding what the offense is gonna bring. The team we're playing, who's their main receiver? What's the quarterback do, is it 3-step, 5-step? What are we looking for in certain formations... and me, being the leader of the defense I need to make sure everyone is feeling good at practice.
I need to make sure that everyone is flying to the ball, and then being part of the linebacker corps I need to make sure all the LBs know what they're doing. Lining up the right way, got all the blitzes down and understand the scheme and the system that we're gonna bring to each and every game. But the main thing I focus on was, the hustle, man. If you wasn't hustling, I wasn't gonna play with you. Because if you don't hustle you don't win.
KD: Leadership aside, do our listeners a favor and describe for them your skillset. What are the top things that you're bringing to the Dallas Cowboys this summer?
BM: Physically, I believe that I'm fast. I'm a sideline to sideline player. I can stop the run, I can blitz, I can also play the pass, man to man coverage . I can cover the spots, I can play in nickel, just a 3-down linebacker. I can contribute heavily on special teams and I'm a guy that's gonna do anything to help the team win man. I'm a big-time team player, and I'm just looking forward to being a part of Cowboys Nation.
KD: On the flip side, what are some areas of your game that you're looking forward to improving on as you get some pro level tutelage?
BM: Oh, everything! I want to improve on everything. With these coaches and linebackers that I'm about to be learning from?? And defensive coordinator, everything? I can't wait to get off blocks better, you know play the run better, play the pass.
I want to be one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game. So I always feel like there's room to grow for me as a player. So off the field, watching fim, what am I looking for, reading the running back, reading the keys, the key steps. Every single thing about the game of football I want to improve in.
KD: When do you get to join the club for the offseason workouts?
BM: I'll be there, May 9th.
KD: Alright, I definitely appreciate you giving us the time man. Would love to get you back on the air.
BM: Yessir, sounds great man. These fans, these are [the greatest] fans I've ever seen, so, I'm loving the energy I'm receiving and I'm just happy to be a part of Cowboys Nation man. This is a blessing.
Once again, I'd like to thank Brandon for affording us the time to speak with him. If you're on twitter, make sure you give him a follow, @BMagee8, and tell him how much you enjoyed his interview here.