If one thing is for certain, it's that the Dallas Cowboys give all the opportunity in the world to each player to fight for a draft spot. And while recent history shows that the Cowboys don't target small-school prospects as much in the draft, Dallas is lucky because their brand speaks for itself so much that it allows them to bring in talented undrafted free agents each year. This is the exact case of Jeremiah McKinnon, one of the newest defensive backs for the Cowboys.
With the draft in the books for a few days now, each player who went undrafted has found their home. On top of their rookie draft class, the Cowboys have 12 players who signed with the roster, on top of others that will be working in with the team in hopes of finding a spot to compete in training camp. One of those players is McKinnon, a fourth-year contributor coming off his best season at FIU.
McKinnon is from Miami, Florida. He started playing the sport of football at three years old. He was apart of the 2015 All Conference-USA Honorable Mention just this past season. He finished with 54 tackles and he had at least six tackles in five games this past season. McKinnon also had three interceptions and eight pass breakups. At FIU, McKinnon is finishing up his major in sport management. His cousin, Cedric, played for nine years in the Arena Football League. And no, he is not related to Jerick McKinnon of the Minnesota Vikings. Enough of me yapping, let's get to the interview of McKinnon!
Jeremiah McKinnon: First and foremost, I would like to thank God for everything he has done for me and my family. Also, I would like to thank the Dallas Cowboys' organization for this amazing opportunity.
Blogging The Boys: What sports team were you a fan of as a kid?
McKinnon: I've never had a favorite NFL team. I just grew up as a Miami Hurricane fan.
BTB: What other teams called you for a tryout?
McKinnon: Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, and the Green Bay Packers.
BTB: What is your biggest strength?
McKinnon: Man-to-man coverage, press or off coverage doesn't really matter.
BTB: What is something you need to work on?
McKinnon: I'm never satisfied with my game, every day I work on my craft. Trying to be the best.
BTB: Who do you compare your game to?
McKinnon: I'm a lot faster than people think. It shows on film once you see me play, I say Patrick Peterson.
BTB: What can you bring to this Cowboys team?
McKinnon: A guy that will give his all every play, whether it's on special teams or defense. I just love the game, I'm bringing aggression.
BTB: What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
McKinnon: Making it this far, but this is just the beginning I'm aware of that. I have so many goals I have to reach.
BTB: Who's your favorite football player of all time?
McKinnon: Deion Sanders of course, he's the greatest of all time but I'm set out to become the next greatest.
BTB: If you make the team, what goal would you like to accomplish?
McKinnon: It's an all or nothing mindset with me, we are going after that Vince Lombardi trophy.
BTB: What is something you need to keep doing to show your importance to this coaching staff?
McKinnon: Play my game, and get better each and every day.
BTB: How early did the Cowboys express interest in you?
McKinnon: I'd say about 3 weeks before my Pro Day that was on March 30th.
BTB: What was it like having Cowboys coaches working you out?
McKinnon: It was a great experience and was a good feeling knowing someone was really interested in me by coming down to workout me out one on one.
BTB: Talk about Coach Baker and Coach Marinelli.
McKinnon: Great guys, they were coaches I could connect with right away. I'm thankful they gave me an opportunity to be a part of this legendary organization
BTB: What can you bring to this 4-3 scheme?
McKinnon: I've played in a 4-3 scheme for 2 years straight now, I'm aware of what you can and can't do with this defense. I went over a few coverages already with coach, he's putting us in great position to make plays.
BTB: Are you friends with any current Cowboys?
McKinnon: No. but I have mutual friends with a few players
BTB: What do you think of fellow rookie CB Anthony Brown?
McKinnon: Watched a couple of his games last year, love how he plays the game. Excited to be working with him.
BTB: What are your expectations for the 2016 season?
McKinnon: Super Bowl, we have the pieces to go!
BTB: What will be your role?
McKinnon: Any role coach wants me to be, I just want for the whole team to be successful.
BTB: Tell us an interesting story about your pre-draft process.
McKinnon: I had no expectations going into the draft, I've always been slept on. That is what drives me to be so great. Once the coaches see first hand what I do, they'll fall in love. Training, interviews, calls with NFL coaches were all so surreal. I embraced it all. Dreams are really coming true. I'm just blessed!
Rookie minicamp will begin in a couple of days and then OTAs. McKinnon will have an opportunity to prove himself against the other rookies coming to camp. With question marks across the board in the secondary, McKinnon will have all the opportunity to compete for a job on the roster. I'd like to thank Jeremiah for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions. I wish Jeremiah nothing but the best!