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'Hard Knocks' favorite Isaac Alarcón switching to defense for Cowboys

The native of Mexico is moving from the offensive line to the defensive squad, according to the team.
Credit: AP
A decal of the flag of Mexico is seen on the backside of Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Isaac Alarcon's helmet during warmups before a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

FRISCO, Texas — Isaac Alarcón, who joined the Dallas Cowboys through the NFL's International Pathway Program as an offensive lineman, is switching to the defensive side of the ball as he continues his journey to making a 53-man roster.

The 24-year-old native of Mexico, who's currently on the Cowboys' practice squad, will now be rushing the quarterback on the defensive line, according to the team.

Will McClay, the team's vice president of player personnel, spoke to DallasCowboys.com about what led to the position change.

"Issac is a big, strong and athletic player and has physical skill set to play offensive line or defensive line," McClay said. "He did some things on scout team defense toward the end of the season that opened defensive coaches eyes to give him a serious look on defense. His time working with OL will also give him an understanding about what they are trying to do to him on defense."

Alarcón became a fan favorite after he was profiled on HBO's "Hard Knocks" series when the Cowboys were featured in 2021. He and his family were spotlighted through the series, which included showing his family cheering for him during a preseason game.

He was also known for the humorous phrase, "I wanna try the cake," which he said as the team celebrated Dak Prescott's birthday with a cake during practice.

Alarcón first joined Dallas in 2020 through the NFL's International Pathway Program, which gives international athletes a chance to join an NFL roster. It also provides roster exemptions for teams with these players in the program.

While he hasn't joined the 53-man roster in three years, he's continued to be a part of Dallas' practice squad.

He grew up in Mexico and played high school football in Monterrey. He also played at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education.

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