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Cowboys take Oregon State CB Nahshon Wright to finish Day 2 defensive spree

By picking CB Nahshon Wright at No. 99, the Dallas Cowboys made it five out of five for defensive players selected with their picks at the NFL Draft.

DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys continued to bolster their cornerback group with the selection of former Oregon State cornerback Nahshon Wright with the 99th overall pick in Round 3 of the 2021 NFL draft.

The 6-4, 188-pound defensive back provides great length at the position. In his 16 career games with the Beavers from 2019-20, he collected 64 combined tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, five interceptions, 11 pass breakups, and a forced fumble. For his efforts in Oregon State's six-game season in 2020, he earned a coach's All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

The Cowboys already have a dominant cornerback on the roster in Trevon Diggs, who emerged as a top-tier corner in his rookie season last year. With Jourdan Lewis re-signed, veteran Anthony Brown on the roster, and the Cowboys selecting Kelvin Joseph earlier in Day 2 in the second round, the cornerback position appeared to be taken care of. 

Instead, the Cowboys used their final third-round selection to take Wright and continue adding to the talent in the secondary.

In his junior season last year, the sociology major had 30 tackles, 1.0 sack, two interceptions, and four deflections. In their rivalry game against Oregon, Wright was instrumental with seven tackles, a pass breakup, and an interception. It wasn't the only time he recorded seven tackles that season, as he also had seven against Stanford in 2020.

In 2019, Wright's sophomore season, he had three interceptions, which were the most by an Oregon State player since 2014. He also had at least one tackle in 10 of the Beavers' 12 games that season.

While Wright may be listed as a cornerback, his measurables also indicate that he could be kicked to the back end and play safety. 

“I look at myself as kind of a more athletic and agile Richard Sherman," Wright told reporters on a conference call shortly after being drafted.

Given that the Cowboys already have a top cornerback ahead of him in Diggs and two veterans in Brown and Lewis, Wright may be battling with fellow draft classmate Joseph for playing time. 

One area where Wright needs to make an impact, if he can't do so with first or second-team defensive reps, is on special teams. Wright may have to earn his bones playing the transition phase of the game before defensive coordinator Dan Quinn trusts him enough to take meaningful snaps in the secondary.

Would you like to see the Cowboys continue to add to the defense in Day 3 of the NFL Draft? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.