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Cowboys countdown to kickoff: #38 D’Angelo Mandell

The Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants in Week 1. And we’re counting down to it by jersey numbers.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 38.

DB D’Angelo Mandell
Born: 27th December 1998 (24) - San Diego, California
College: BYU Cougars
Draft: 2023, UDFA, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Stats: (College)
Snaps: 374
Tackles: 18
Defensive Stops: 3
Pass Breakup: 1
QB Rate Allowed: 85.7
Penalties: 2

D’Angelo Mandell was pursued by USC, Washington, Washington State, and Vanderbilt, but chose to play at BYU and enrolled in 2017. Mandell didn’t get to play till his second season in 2018, when he made nine tackles in 13 games.

In 2019, Mandell had 21 tackles and two tackles for loss while playing in 13 contests. His 2020 season was limited to only eight games played due to Covid restrictions. Mandell finished the year with six total tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup.

In 2021, Mandell played in 13 games and recorded 36 total tackles, one tackle for loss, and four pass breakups which was second-most for BYU that year. Then in 2022, he tallied 18 tackles and a pass breakup. He made a career-high six tackles against the Oregon Ducks.

Cowboys Outlook:
So what does Mandell do well? He has good size and length with high levels of speed. While at BYU he proved he could handle not just slot receivers, but the big target receivers and big tight ends. He’s quick to diagnose plays and is consistent in handling his coverage assignments. He’s physical with receivers and works well to stay in synchronicity with safeties when in double coverage.

But Mandell comes to Dallas trying to make a case against a solid and stacked defensive back corps. The mountain he has to climb is steep and unfortunately there’s plenty of tape on him trailing in coverage and having to use his speed to get back onto his man, this is something that will weigh heavily against him in the pros. A testament to his defensive struggles is found by just looking at the minimal production he got while playing at BYU.

Mandell has the size and speed to check boxes and hit thresholds. The trouble was he never developed athletically or an understanding of the game, and never played to what looked promising coming out of high school. Whether he gets a practice squad spot is a big unknown.

The Big Question:
Does D’Angelo Mitchell make the practice squad? Comment below.

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