Wed, 23 Jun 2021

Notebook: Position Switches For Late-Round Picks

Dallas Cowboys
15 May 2021, 20:24 GMT+10

Nick Eatman

FRISCO, Texas - One of the more memorable draft-day moments occurred in the sixth-round when Israel Mukuamo told Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones he planned on being the best cornerback in the draft.

However, that might be a hard claim to back up. Not long after the draft ended, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn called Mukuamu to not only congratulate him on being picked, but to inform him they were moving him to safety.

"He called me a couple of hours after I got drafted," Mukuamu said of Quinn. "He said he's going to start me at safety. And we'll just go from there. I'm just excited to be here. I'm ready to go work. Safety, cornerback, special teams, I'm just trying to get on the field."

And just like he told Jerry Jones about his confidence in being a top corner, Mukuamu said that attitude carries over to him playing safety as well.

"That's just in me, from my family. I'm always a confident person and always ready to compete," Mukuamu said. "Wherever they put me on the field, I'm ready to compete and do what I'm asked."

Mukuamu and undrafted rookie Tyler Coyle are the only two safeties competing in this weekend's minicamp.

Center Stage

On Thursday, when asked what position he plans on playing this weekend, seventh-round pick Matt Farniok playfully said "offensive line."

As vague as it might sound from a 6-5, 311-pounder, Farniok was being honest. For a guy that played all five positions at one point during his collegiate career in Nebraska, he wasn't too sure where the Cowboys would line him up on Friday.

"When I got drafted, they just told me to be versatile," Farniok shared.

As it turned out on Friday, Farniok took most of his snaps at center, and even did some extra work after the practice.

He spent the majority of his career at guard, but got some center snaps last season for the Cornhuskers.

"My first ever time of really playing center was last year," he said. "I did some in practice at Nebraska. Started one game at center and had some rotational series. But last year, I was pretty much all guard."

While he plans to learn all five positions here in Dallas as well, Farniok said center is unique to all of them.

"The biggest difference is getting used to snapping the ball while moving," said Farniok. "It's a little different but you get used to it."

Home Grown

While many of the 2021 rookie class had never been to Dallas before, a couple of them are feeling right at home - literally.

Linebacker Anthony Hines, a rookie free agent from Texas A&M, is from nearby Plano, Texas and said he's living out a childhood fantasy to wear this uniform.

"It's a dream come true to play for the home team," Family not far from here ... it's just a dream come true."

For fullback Nick Ralston, who played tailback and tight end at Louisiana, he's played in three state championships at AT&T Stadium as a standout at Argyle, Texas.

"To come full circle and come home. To come back here and see this facility, it's a blessing," said Ralston, who expects to do more than just a traditional fullback. "I've developed a vast skill set in college. So I can probably fill whatever needs come up. I'm a very versatile player."

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