Tyrann Mathieu, a.k.a. “The Honey Badger,” is a dynamic athlete who was a national icon in 2011 with LSU.
Since then, Mathieu has been suspended from the LSU football program for violating the team's drug use policy.
While he has been out of football for the past year, he has declared for the 2013 NFL draft. Naturally, quite a few Cowboys fans find themselves enamored of the possible arrival of Mathieu in Dallas.
A phenomenal athlete, he has great speed, instincts and football smarts. In his two-year career at LSU, Mathieu registered 133 tackles, six sacks, 11 forced fumbles and two interceptions.
That’s a heck of a stat line for a two-year defensive back.
Even more impressive was his ability to change games as a return specialist. In 2011, Mathieu returned 27 punts for 421 yards and two touchdowns. That equates to a 15-yard average, which would have ranked third among NFL return specialists in 2012.
One concern is that Mathieu lacks the size of a typical NFL defensive back, standing at 5’9” and 174 pounds.
Despite his size, Mathieu’s talent is undeniable. He’s a game-changing player on the field, but questions remain on who he is off of it.
Is the risk worth it?
Jason Garrett has worked hard to change the culture of the Dallas Cowboys organization. He has tried to instill discipline and build a team around players with the utmost off-the-field character.
Bringing in Mathieu seriously jeopardizes that.
The Cowboys are in the news enough between the constant ridicule of the players and coaches and legal problems that seem unavoidable. Even fans are relentless in their criticism of team personnel like Dez Bryant, Jay Ratliff and Jason Garrett, all of whom they have demanded be either fired or released this season.
Drafting Mathieu wouldn’t make that any better.
Yes, Mathieu would offer the Cowboys a dynamic football player, but also one who has been away from the game for a year and struggles with substance abuse. He has proved that he would put his personal needs before the team and thus is viewed as unreliable.
I get where everyone is coming from; the ceiling on Mathieu's game is unlimited. However, I implore you to not get enamored of his flashy highlights; instead, look at how he would affect this team.
The Cowboys are finally headed in the right direction. Adding Mathieu would force them to take two steps back after finally taking one step forward.
Mathieu faces a tough road ahead, and I wish him the best. Just not with this franchise.