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Dallas Cowboys scouting report: New roster addition, guard Xavier Su’a-Filo

Meet your newest Dallas Cowboys, Xavier Su’a-Filo.

Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

It was reported on Tuesday that the Cowboys had agreed to terms with former second-round pick guard Xavier Su’a-Filo. Su’a-Filo was the 33rd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, by the Houston Texans. In his four years with the Texans, Su’a-Filo started 41 games out of 56 eligible games. He has experience playing both left and right guard, so the team will love his versatility and position flexibility.

With injuries to Parker Ehinger, Zack Martin still not completely 100%, and Travis Frederick out indefinitely, the Cowboys gave the former UCLA Bruin a two-year deal to provide some quality depth and experience to the offensive line. Let’s take a look at the tape and see what Xavier Su’a-Filo brings to the Dallas Cowboys.

Su’a-Filo is a massive man at 6-foot-4, 310-lbs, and he plays with a tremendous amount of strength in his upper and lower half. Su’a-Filo does a nice job of anchoring and holding his ground when defensive players rush him with power. He plays with nice weight distribution, and is tough to gain much ground on when you rush him down the middle. He uses both soft and hard sets when pass blocking, which makes it tough for defensive lineman to plan their rushes against him.

Su’a-Filo does a nice job here working against Frank Clark. Clark tries to use a push-pull move on him, but Xavier anchors well and has too much strength in his hands, upper body, and legs so Clark is unable to pull him out of position.

Su’a-Filo does a nice job when lineman attack his outside shoulder. Larry Ogunjobi makes it easy for him by trying to beat him using power and snap quickness off his outside shoulder. Su’a-FIlo does an excellent job of turning his hips and driving Ogunjobi up the field and towards the sideline, while not distributing his weight too much on one foot.

The defensive lineman did the Texans offense a huge favor by going with an inside move here, which leaves the hole wide open for Lamar Miller. Su’a-Filo does a nice job of flipping his hips, and turning his man completely sideways which allows Miller a large runway to run through for a nice gain.

For his size, Su’a-Filo moves pretty well in space as a blocker. Houston used him a lot pulling, and in space setting up screens. Here, Su’a-Filo is able to reach the backside linebacker who is looking to chase down the run from the backside. He gets to Myles Jack before Jack can get into the backfield and drives him completely out of the play.

Where Xavier Su’a-Filo struggles, is when rushers go after him with speed, or convert their speed to power. He can also be inconsistent with his footwork. Here his feet get to wide on his pass set and Su’a-Filo gets bulled over by Geno Atkins. When facing rushers who have quickness as well as power, Su’a-Filo has to be better with his footwork and not set to wide. He already lacks ideal length, so when he sets wide, it allows blockers to get even deeper into his chest which leads to him on his back far too often.

The Texans set it up to have Xavier Su’a-Filo as the lead blocker on the screen to Lamar Miller. Su’a-Filo does a nice job of getting out into space, but instead of moving his feet to square up to Telvin Smith, he tries to lunge to reach him. Smith runs right by Su’a-Filo and blows up the play completely. If Su’a-Filo moves his feet and squares up to Smith this had a chance to be a quality play.

The signing of Xavier Su’a-Filo is a good one giving the need for the position, how far we are into the season, and the lack of talent and depth at the interior of the offensive line. Su’a-Filo could start games for you at guard if you need him to, and has been around the league and seen a lot of things in his 41 career starts. While this signing seems like more for the depth, if someone goes down, Xavier Su’a-Filo can be a quality backup option at either guard spot. This was a good signing for a team that lives or dies by its offensive line, you can never have too much talent or depth at positions you rely on that much.

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