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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dallas Cowboys grasping at straws and sign defensive tackle Amobi Okoye despite not playing since 2012

By on 5/17/2014 05:30:00 PM

The Dallas Cowboys seem to reaching to all corners of the Earth to find players. Their latest acquisition is defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, a former first-round pick of the Houston Texans back in 2007, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan. Okoye missed the entire 2013 NFL season due to an undisclosed injury and missed seven games in 2012.

Turning 27 years-old in June, Okoye was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans and was an immediate impact, registering 109 combined tackles, 11 sacks and one forced fumble. The Texans made him the 10th overall pick in the 2007 draft. He last played in nine games for the Chicago Bears in 2012. He registered nine tackles and one sack in the season.

William Holtkamp via Wikimedia Commons
Thanks to Okoye being so advanced in school, including starting his education at two and a half years old and graduating college in less than four years, the defensive tackle was only 19 when he entered the NFL draft. What NFL teams really liked was that he was quick for a 292-pound and when you're that good at 19 years old, how good could he be when he's just starting to enter his physical peak in his early 20's?

The 6-foot-2, 292-pound tackle became the youngest player to start an NFL game since 1967. The bad news was he couldn't hack it in the NFL. The Houston Texans took him with the 10th overall in the 2007 draft, and nobody thought it was the wrong move,yet it was. After four years and 11 sacks, half of which came his rookie year, the Texans released him in 2011. He went to the Chicago Bears to be a backup for a couple more year, where he posted 39 combined tackles and five sacks.

When he was cut by the Bears during the 2012 season, it barely made a ripple. Okoye didn't play all of last year due to an undisclosed medical issue, and it looked like he might quietly fade into post-NFL life.
Then entered the Dallas Cowboys, a team desperate to breathe life into their struggling defensive unit. Head coach Jason Garrett had these words regarding Okoye:
We like a lot of things about him. He’s a young player coming out of (Louisville) He has a lot of talent. Rod was around him in Chicago so we know him well. We think that’s a positive thing. He’s had some health issues the last year or so where’s lost some weight. We feel like he has a chance to be a contributor on the line. He’s had some health issues the last year or so where he’s lost a lot of weight. He’s gained his weight back and we’re still waiting on some medical things, but we feel like he has a chance to be a contributor on that defensive line.
Garrett was asked if he felt like Okoye could participate in the Cowboys’ veteran mini-camp at Valley Ranch in mid-June.  “Just waiting to see, got a physical yesterday and there are some other things we’re waiting on,” Garrett said. “We’re not going to rush him into anything, but it’s good to have him in here.”

The Cowboys undoubtedly need linemen. They're giving Okoye another shot to revive his career. Dallas agreed with Okoye on a two-year deal, according to numerous reports.  The one-time standout first-rounder defensive tackle will finally get another chance, a once in a lifetime shot that so many athletes strive to achieve.

On Twitter: @alewnes7

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