The Dallas Cowboys went with a Nebraska defensive lineman for the second consecutive year.
They used their third-round pick on defensive tackle Maliek Collins and he’s expected to give the line more interior depth. A year ago, the Cowboys used their second-round pick on Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory.
Two-time NFL Man of the Year Brandon Carter of the Cowboys made the selection at the NFL Draft in Chicago.
Gregory had a disappointing rookie season, recording no sacks and now faces a four-game suspension to start next season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. But Collins is looking forward to joining his former college teammate in the pros.
“That’s my brother,” Collins said of Gregory. “We played together at Nebraska for two years. He’s a great player and looking forward to reuniting with him and getting after it again.”
Collins is coming off a junior season in which he had 2.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss and six quarterback hurries. In his three years with the Huskers, Collins compiled eight sacks, 23 tackles for loss and 19 quarterback hurries.
Collins had a formal meeting with the Cowboys, and also went through a two-hour workout with assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett throughout the draft process. He called the Cowboys his dream destination.
“This is where I wanted to go,” Collins said. “I feel like this is the perfect fit for me. I feel like this is the best fit for me and I feel like I can develop under coach [Rod] Marinelli.”