Cowboys Rumors: Dallas Targeting Yetur Gross-Matos, Could Trade Down to Draft DE

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2020

COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 27:  Yetur Gross-Matos #99 of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on during a college football game against the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium on September 27, 2019 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys likely will focus on bolstering their defense in the 2020 NFL draft, with cornerback being the team's biggest need after the departure of Byron Jones in free agency.

But one player to keep an eye on could be Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler:

"This also isn't a deep pass-rusher class for undeniable first-round talent, but teams always need them. That could spark a late first-round run. The Dallas Cowboys have done a ton of recon work on Penn State edge-rusher Yetur Gross-Matos, so if they move back from the No. 17 overall pick, perhaps they parlay added capital into Gross-Matos and someone else."

There are mixed opinions on what the Cowboys might do with the pick. NBC Sports' Peter King has heard the team is interested in a center to replace the retired Travis Frederick. 

"It's too high for a center, but they love the Michigan center [Cesar Ruiz], and they could trade down a few spots and still be sure of getting him," a member of a personnel staff told him.

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, meanwhile, projected the team to select LSU edge-rusher K'Lavon Chaisson in his latest mock draft. 

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As for Gross-Matos, the 22-year-old edge-rusher registered 111 tackles (36.5 for loss) and 18.5 sacks at Penn State the past three seasons. B/R's Matt Miller had him ranked at No. 21 overall on his latest big board, while Jeremiah had him at No. 30 overall on his. 

According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News: "In late February, the club met with Gross-Matos at the combine in Indianapolis. This month, owner Jerry Jones, coach Mike McCarthy and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula were among the staff members who interviewed him on a Zoom video conference call."

Gehlken added that Gross-Matos largely played on the right side of the defensive line at Penn State, the same position where the Cowboys have a need. So it wouldn't be a major stretch if the Cowboys prioritized him to solidify the defensive line in the first round.