The Cowboys have addressed the safety position with more vigor than in recent years. Will they go full throttle and spend a proper amount of draft capital to secure the future at the position? A Reese’s Senior Bowl invite broke out this season after only starting in two games the prior season. Cincinnati safety,Bryan Cook is versatile and can probably play either safety spot, but is best suited for the strong safety role.
He may not have the most range, but he is capable of being responsible for half the field. He has single high experience from college, so he could likely play it in a pinch. He is comfortable in trail technique where he can undercut throws, and he is very physical. He also earned All-AAC First Team selection honors after the 2021 season. Would he fit with the Cowboys?
Measurables and Stats
Listed Height: 6-foot-1
Listed Weight: 206 pounds
Jersey Number: 6
Tackles (2021): 57 solo tackles, 96 total tackles
Impact Plays (2021): 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 9 pass deflections
Film Study Information:
Games Watched: Indiana (2021), Notre Dame (2021), Tulsa (2021), Alabama (2021)
Best Game: Tulsa (2021)
Worst Game: Indiana (2021)
Physical Skills Evaluation:
Range: Comfortable in single-high, sits back and reads the QBs eyes, quick to make his reaction and close on the ball. Doubt he has the range or instincts to play single high in the NFL, he best projects as a strong safety in a dual safety scheme.
Versatility: Saw him line up in the box, single high. Versatile in college, but best projects as a strong to the NFL.
Football IQ: Follows the QBs eyes well and is quick to react, but I have questions about his true instincts. You don’t see him breaking on the ball before the throw. Communicates pre snap with other defenders on the backend.
Tackling: Willing to throw his body out there but isn’t the most consistent tackler. Goes for arm tackles on occasion and they can easily be escaped. Can lower his head and whiff at times. Can take bad angles on quick routes at times.
COD skills: Has a little hitch in his step when changing direction in the open field, but it hasn’t affected him as of yet. Has clean hips, which make for very good recovery ability when his hips get flipped.
Physicality: Uses every inch of the five yards within the line of scrimmage to be as physical as possible. Doesn’t do well with deconstructing blocks from pulling blockers in space. Will lay a hit on a jump ball or poorly placed ball.
Man Coverage: Able to navigate traffic on crossing routes and stay in phase, comfortable in trail where he can undercut the pass. Capable of manning up against tight ends, won’t shut them out, but will go rep for rep with them. Can lose track of his man on double moves. Squeezes the receiver towards the sideline and uses it as an extra defender. Able to hook the receiver and propel himself into position to make a PBU, without drawing a flag.
Zone Coverage: Can lose track of routes on extended plays and let the receiver get behind him.
Run Support: Can over pursue and lose backside contain. Handles pulling blockers well but doesn’t do much to avoid them. Absorbs the contact well, but he could sidestep them. Takes good pursuit angles on big runs. Won’t be able to disengage from an offensive lineman, if they get their hands on him.
Ball Skills: Likes being in trail where he can undercut the pass. Able to turn his head and locate the football while carrying a route.
Has adequate range for college, but lacks true elite range for the NFL. Very physical player, will engage receivers within the first five yards of the line of scrimmage and takes advantage of that window. He is a willing tackler, but it can be inconsistent at times. Adapt in trail coverage where he can undercut routes. Uses the sideline to his advantage when in man.
Lacks really great football instincts, more of a read and react type of player. Tackling is inconsistent at times, and he can lose track on routes that go behind him. Doesn’t handle pulling offensive lineman in space well. Has a little hitch in his step when he changes directions, unless it is flipping his hips.
Fit with the Cowboys:
The Cowboys currently project to a three-headed monster at the safety spot. Jayron Kearse and Malik Hooker were re-signed to modest multiyear deals after being brought in on trial runs in 2021 and proving their worth. Kearse led the team in tackles and Hooker worked his way into volume snaps the further he got away from his achilles injury. In addition, Donovan Wilson still exists, entering the final year of his rookie deal, still trying to shake his own injury narrative.
Behind them is Israel Mukuamu, a sixth-round pick from South Carolina who was converted from cornerback, and UDFA Tyler Coyle.
Cook is very physical and uses every bit of the five-yard window where he is allowed to make contact with the receiver. He uses the sideline to his advantage when in man coverage, he can go rep for rep with TE’s. He lacks elite range and he can be an inconsistent tackler at times. His biggest red flag is he lacks the football IQ one would like to see in safeties. He is more of a read and react type of player. If drafted by the Cowboys, fans should expect him to play significant special teams snaps while the club tries to develop him into a hopeful starter.
Run Support (10)
Man Coverage (10)
Ball Skills (10)
Zone Coverage (10)
COD skills (10)
Football IQ (10)
78.45, 3rd round player