Continuing our efforts to learn about the newest Dallas Cowboys by reaching out to the members of our SBN family who covered them in college, we turn to Marquez White. David Visser at Tomahawk Nation was kind enough to spare BTB a little of his time and help us become acquainted with the former Florida State Seminole corner.
Question: Marquez White finds himself coming to Dallas at a very opportune time. The Cowboys have needs in the defensive backfield and many players will be given an opportunity to provide solutions to the problem. What makes him a good prospect to help find the solutions we are hoping for?
Visser: While I'm no expert as to the Cowboys' secondary concerns, I can tell you that White was a solid performer for the Seminoles. He's good at the line and downfield, but needs work in the intermediate game, where I expect Dallas coaching can help him quite a bit. That said, he's practiced and played with several talented DBs while in Tallahassee, including Terrence Brooks, Lamarcus Joyner, Ronald Darby, P.J. Williams, Derwin James, and Tarvarus McFadden. Most of those guys are already in the NFL-- the others will be high-round picks soon.
Question: I expect that with his being the third corner taken by Dallas, the Cowboys will initially use White in a special teams role unless something happens. Tell us more about his contributions to the 'Noles special teams.
Visser: White is both lanky and strong, with an impressive wingspan. He spent practice time in Tallahassee returning punts, and he has a good feel for the field. He's not a power-hitter, by any means, but is a mostly reliable tackler who shows nice range across the field.
Question: One concern I noticed from multiple scouts was that he is not the best ball skills guy in the game. Over his time in college, what development have you seen in those skills?
Visser: He's gotten better since he stopped played playing basketball for FSU and concentrated his focus solely on football. 'Quez's nickname is "the Quilt," and for good reason: when he's at his best, he takes a side of the field away, the same way that another FSU corner, Deion Sanders, did while he was in Dallas and throughout his incredible NFL career. But obviously, there's no confusing the two.
But to answer the question more directly, White flourishes when he eliminates the ball from even coming toward him.
Question: Another thing I heard mentioned is that he is more of a finesse type corner, and this concerns me. How real is this concern? Is Marquez going to fight with his man in press coverage or is he going to give him a free release?
Visser: Again, White is good at the line - he just needs some improvement thereafter. It will be interesting to see how Dallas wants to use him. At Florida State, he played the field corner position, meaning he was responsible for a receiver on the wide side of the field. On the other side? Well, that was top-five pick Ramsey or future first-round selection McFadden, who led the country in interceptions last season. So White always had some room for error. He slipped a bit in 2016; frankly, had he declared after his junior season, he'd have been off the board well before when the Cowboys were able to nab him in 2017. That said, it's important to remember that he faced a better slate of QBs than any other DB in the country last year. Seriously: Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, Brad Kaaya, and Chad Kelly. That's kinda nuts.
So, to reiterate, when he's with a receiver, he's quite effective. He needs to improve upon maintaining that contact in the intermediate range.
Question: What do you think White is going to need to work on the most to get his game ready for Sunday afternoons?
Visser: He needs a little bit of good weight, and could improve upon his angles, as well as closing on the ball. But, honestly, I think the fight to make the roster will do him well. White is a good guy who's already run a football camp in his hometown of Dothan, Alabama, that's all about teaching kids how to make the most of their potential. We'll see if he can do the same for himself in Big D.
Thanks again to David and the staff at Tomahawk Nation. We look forward to seeing Marquez in training camp and over the course of his career in Dallas.