The Cowboys have done some bolstering to the linebacker position this offseason with Malik Jefferson, Christian Sam, and four-time Pro Bowler Anthony Barr, and the latter has created quite the buzz in Dallas about the position.
When looking at the long-term outlook of the linebacker unit one guy has a chance to be special playing alongside Micah Parsons. Jabril Cox, who was taken in the fourth round by the Cowboys in 2021, has successfully returned from the torn ACL that he suffered last October, and is expected to be a vital part of what they do defensively this season.
AtoZ Sports Dallas morning show host Will “Skywalker” Steele had the chance to catch up with Cox out in Oxnard at training camp, and the former LSU Tiger gave an update and how he’s feeling as the preseason approaches.
“I’m feeling good,” said Cox. “The knee’s feeling right. I’m feeling faster than ever, stronger than ever. So, I’m feeling good.”
Cox was looked at as one of the steals of last year’s draft considering most had him as a second-round talent. His instincts as a pass defender make him a great complement to Parsons, who was a terror at getting after the quarterback last season with 13 sacks, and he did so as a part-time rusher.
With Cox healthy, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn can find the packages to use for the Cowboys to be fully effective at linebacker. Parsons mentioned that he and Barr may switch things up because of the former Viking having pass rush ability also, and his pass coverage skills, which were on display last season with a career-high three interceptions, will be a nice pairing with Cox during passing downs and allow Parsons to rush from the edge.
Physically, Cox has all the tools to succeed for the Cowboys. However, another important piece to the puzzle, what lies between the ears, is what Cox mentioned that he had to conquer.
“The mental aspect was the part that I had to get down,’ said Cox. “I got that down during the offseason. Now, it’s just really getting healthy physically. So mentally I feel good, physically I feel good, and I’m ready to roll.”
That’s encouraging to hear from Cox. Currently, Leighton Vander Esch is ahead of Cox on the depth chart, but seeing as he’s only on a one-year deal, the Cowboys would much rather Cox unseat him and be on the field as much as possible with Parsons.
The Cowboys had a joint practice with the Denver Broncos on Thursday, sort of a precursor to their preseason matchup this weekend. The availability of Cox is will depend on what the staff wants, as they surely are taking the cautious route.
“I’m not sure yet,” Cox said. “It just depends on Britt (Britt Brown, Cowboys’ head trainer) and my coaches. I’m on a snap count, so however many snaps they want me to get, that’s however many I’ll take.”
Feature image via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports