DeMarvion Overshown matches a familiar LB profile for Cowboys
Sensing a shift in the NFL game where offenses use dynamic running backs and tight ends to create mismatches downfield, the Cowboys are targeting a different kind of linebacker these days.
Those stoutly-built, downhill run-stuffers of old are largely a thing of the past. In today’s pro game, linebackers must possess lateral mobility, spatial awareness and a fluid lower body capable of keeping up with the diverse attacks offensive coordinators throw at them. So it should be of no surprise the Cowboys used a mid-round draft pick to bring in a hybrid linebacker who thrives in coverage and playing in space.
Measuring 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, this young linebacker earned a reputation at one of the most prominent football schools in the land as a leader and playmaker. He was fast, loose-hipped, and fluid in coverage. He could play sideline to sideline and handle nearly any coverage match-up from the slot.
The year was 2021 and the player was Jabril Cox.
It’s safe to say there are some similarities between the linebacker Dallas drafted in 2021 and the one they drafted in 2023. Picked in the third round, University of Texas’ DeMarvion Overshown picks up right where Cox’s profile left off.
Overshown, 6-foot-3, 229 pounds, is a highly athletic safety-turned-linebacker. He plays with tremendous range and is comfortable in space vs the run and pass. He’s extremely athletic and fluid in his movements, allowing him to keep up with RBs, TEs and even WRs.
Overshown packs more punch as a pass-rusher, but generally speaking, he’s a very similar profile to Cox, who was drafted just two years before. Where might the rookie play in 2023?
Speaking to 105.3 The Fan, Will McClay broke down his expectations for his rookie LB out of Texas.
“WILL (weakside) linebacker type,” McClay said of Overshown. “One of the things you look for is finding guys who can match up athletically with tight ends and receivers.”
Dallas hasn’t given up on Cox, but they have yet to see him develop into the player they thought he would when they picked him in the fourth round. He’s had trouble picking up some of the assignments in Dan Quinn’s defense and has had his share of bad luck regarding injuries, tearing his ACL in 2021.
2023 could easily be seen as a make-or-break season for Cox considering the Cowboys just added a player like Overshown who fits his same profile and might even offer a bit more.
According to PFF tracking data, Cox logged most of his snaps at MIKE last season (the same position Leighton Vander Esch plays). But Cox’s profile arguably fits the WILL position best so there is a good chance Cox will compete with Overshown over the same role in 2023.
Given the lack of depth at the LB position, both players can easily fit on the Cowboys roster in 2023. But if Cox doesn’t establish himself early in camp, he could easy get leapfrogged by Overshown on the depth chart.
Dallas has a type they’ve been hunting for in recent drafts. They’ve been looking for the next generation of LB who thrives in coverage. Hitting on one of their two prospects could go a long way in eliminating some advantages teams like San Francisco and the Eagles have had over them.
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