With cornerback Byron Jones and Anthony Brown both entering contract seasons, the Dallas Cowboys bolstered their cornerback corps by selecting Miami Hurricanes cornerback Michael Jackson with the 158th overall pick in Round 5 of the 2019 NFL draft Saturday.
Jackson is a lengthy corner at 6-1, 200 pounds, which fits in the profile of what secondary coach Kris Richard is looking for. The Birmingham, Alabama, native collected 64 total tackles in his four seasons with the Hurricanes. His best season was in 2017 when he picked off four passes, recorded a sack, and had four pass breakups in 13 games. Jackson earned all-ACC second-team for his efforts.
Jackson managed to earn an All-ACC honorable mention in 2018, his senior season. He didn't have the interception production that he did in his junior year, but he collected six pass deflections.
One of the last day three cornerbacks the Cowboys had success with was Brown back in 2016. The sixth-rounder produced an interception, a forced fumble, and eight pass breakups as a rookie.
Part of the formula that helped Brown was some of the same roster composition that could help Jackson: Veterans. The Cowboys have a strong veteran in Jones, a Pro Bowler from last season. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis will be entering their third seasons respectively and will also bring an infusion of youth and experience.
What Jackson can elevate in the process much the same way bullets elevate in a magazine. Regardless of whether the Cowboys let Jones go or find Brown's second contract too pricey, Jackson will have a chance to step into a new role. The Cowboys enjoy competition and giving younger players playing time if they have earned it. In training camp, it is possible that Jackson could challenge Brown immediately for playing time.
Jackson has the physical composition of a Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner type from the old Legion of Boom in Seattle. With the drafting of Jackson, the fingerprints of Richard are becoming more apparent on the Cowboys' defense.
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