As it usually goes this time of year, a prospective NFL draftee has emerged from dark auspices to become a hot topic — with the Dallas Cowboys being a team having rumored interest.
Whether that’s accurate at this point or simply the reading of tea leaves driven by his recent post on Instagram, there’s definite interest on at least one side of the equation. Houston outside linebacker Tyus Bowser clearly wants to don the Star if given half a chance, and the Cowboys are clearly in search of an edge-rush maniac who can create terror in the opposing backfield.
For those that have not heard of Bowser — chances being you haven’t until now — he’s as athletic as any pass rusher you’ll find in this year’s draft, albeit not as polished as some of the others that sit atop the class. Nonetheless, the 6-foot-3, 247 lb. native of Tyler, TX can be an absolute animal at times, making it no small wonder he’s seen his stock skyrocket as of late as teams combine his workouts with his film analysis.
One look at his measurables alone is akin to staring at a Christmas gift that isn’t wrapped well, permitting a chance to peek inside and see it might be the keys to the new 2017 Ford SVT Raptor you’ve been lusting for.
His web looks like Peter Parker made it.
No one will ever question the motor on Bowser, because he never quits. A ballcarrier isn’t safe simply because they got past him, as he’s known to pursue and drag down running backs and quarterbacks from behind like a cheetah on a gazelle.
The problem comes in noticing the aforementioned happens more than an NFL team would like to see, which is usually a result of Bowser not setting the edge properly. Great in coverage but not so much in contain — with the latter being something the Cowboys would prefer to see as they’d likely drop him down and put his hand in the dirt — doesn’t bode well when assessing the schematic fit of Bowser in defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s system.
Here’s a closer look at the film breakdown, sans music and emotion-driven editing:
There’s also the matter of competition, or lack thereof, when speaking of Bowser.
While other edge rushers will likely be available to the Cowboys having excelled in the nation’s top conferences, the question of Bowser doing so in the AAC must be asked — particularly considering how much coaching up would be required to get him NFL ready. Currently projected by CBS Sports as a first or second-round selection, teams will do well to ask themselves if they should expect to put so much work into a top pick.
Playing in the aforementioned AAC, Bowser progressed annually but never exceeded the 10-sack mark. In 2016, he landed 8.5 sacks (his career-high) to go along with one forced fumble and 47 tackles, with 12 tackles for a loss.
With a wealth of more refined and equally athletic talent sitting atop this class of edge rushers, a third-round marker could be a better valuation on Bowser — although it looks like he won’t make it past the second round. If the Cowboys do fall in love with him, it’ll need to be head-over-heels as they’ll be immediately faced with the accusations of “who they could’ve had instead”.
Especially if things don’t immediately pan out as they potentially watch those they passed on do well out of the gate.
None of this means Bowser won’t excel at the next level, but to spend a top pick on him would be a risk when weighed against the remainder of the field. He’s the prototype project player for Marinelli, though, who licks his chops when given the chance to mold a raw prospect into a potential NFL star.
The question is, if Bowser is becoming Marinelli’s pet cat, will he be able to convince Jerry Jones to take such a gambit?
He’s raw with a tremendous upside, and it certainly wouldn’t be the first time Jones slid all of his chips to the center of the table.