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Can Cowboys Expect Immediate Impact From Rookie DT Jordan Carrell?

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The Cowboys selected Jordan Carrell to add durable depth to the inside of the defensive line during the seventh round. Now we get to learn more about Rod Marinelli's new defensive tackle.

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Jack Barsh has been a godsend over the last week as the Dallas Cowboys twice went to the well and drafted Colorado Buffalo players. He and the staff at Ralphie Report have been more than willing to help bring BTB readers up to speed on some of our newest Dallas Cowboys. He is what they had to say about Jordan Carrell.

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Question: The Cowboys have a track record of success with seventh-round defensive linemen exceeding their draft pedigree, I am thinking Jay Ratliff off the top of my head. Obviously we would not be too upset to find another one. What does Jordan Carrell bring to the table that will help him fight his way on to the gridiron?

Barsh: Jordan Carrell is an interesting case. He burst on to the scene a year ago after a stop at American River College. Carrell was an immediate hit in the weight room and during practice. His work ethic is tireless and his attitude is fantastic. But this is not just a feel-good story. Carrell can move really well for someone his size, and as a 3-4 defensive end, he took on blockers extremely well. He was a consistent sighting in the backfield. Basically, he’ll never be outworked and he has some surprising athleticism and moves.

Question: One thing that stands out as I look over recent seasons is that we had a lot of linemen miss time. I understand that Carrell is an iron horse who is always out on the field. Can you comment on his durability and effectiveness when banged up?

Barsch: Carrell has played a lot of snaps over the past two years. He does get subbed out, obviously, but he has never missed time and he knows how to play through pain or exhaustion.

Question: I know next to nothing about his actual play, Carrell was not on my radar when the pick came in, nor was any other defensive tackle. Can you fill me in on the type of player that he is?

Barsch: Yeah, Carrell is almost a prototypical 3-4 defensive end. He can play 4-3 defensive tackle as well, as he played inside at his junior college. As a 3-4 defensive end, Carrell was stout at the point of attack, and set the edge well. His stats don’t jump out at you, but that wasn’t his role. He was there to allow others to make plays, and he did that extremely well. He did penetrate consistently when given the option to, and he was in position to make plays, though he struggled with wrap-up tackles.

Question: One big thing that I look for in interior defensive lineman is can he collapse the pocket. It is frustrating to see edge rush starting to get home and then have Eli Manning step up and complete a pass. Can Jordan get the push up the middle to stop this from happening?

Barsch: I’ve touched on this a bit, but Carrell can push the pocket. His job at CU was to hold the line. He occupied blockers. When given the ability, he pushed the pocket well. He didn’t have many sacks, but he had plenty of hurries and put pressure on the other team’s offensive line. In Dallas, he has Leon Lett to teach him to disrupt from the inside and out.

Question: I know he was a JUCO transfer. What kind of an immediate impact did Carrell make on the Colorado program once he arrived?

Barsch: His work ethic and intensity during practice and lift sessions over the summer immediately made everyone around him better. His play was a definite benefit to Colorado, but his daily contributions helped on and off the field. While Carrell isn’t mentioned as one of CU’s senior leaders often (Chidobe Awuzie is a much easier leader to point to), but he led by example with his consistency, high level of play, and work ethic. He will never be a detriment to an organization.

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Once again I want to thank the staff at Ralphie Report for their assistance with pieces on both Jordan Carrell and Cihdobe Awuzie. They have been a great and cooperative resource over the past week, and we wish them success in their upcoming season.