FRISCO, Texas -- Wednesday is the final day teams can host top-30 visitors for next week’s draft. The Dallas Cowboys are doing their best to get their last looks in.
While not on the team’s initial list of visitors, Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell, Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey and Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers were late additions, according to sources.
Humphrey is the 11th cornerback among the Cowboys’ visitors, while McDowell and Rivers bring the total to 10 defensive linemen to make their way to The Star.
The Cowboys normally hold a few spots open for last-minute checks. Two years ago they brought in wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham for a late visit.
The national visits have been telling for the Cowboys. Since 2004, the only times the Cowboys did not have their top pick visit their facility before the draft have come in 2005 with DeMarcus Ware and 2012 with Morris Claiborne.
McDowell had a better 2015 season than in 2016 in which his effort was questioned at times before an ankle injury cut short his season. Perhaps more of a left defensive end and defensive tackle than fluid pass-rusher, McDowell had six sacks in his two seasons as a starter but he has tremendous athletic ability.
Rivers is a bit undersized for the Cowboys' scheme, but he was productive last season with 15 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss even if it came at the FCS level.
The Cowboys’ need for pass-rush help has been well-documented. Benson Mayowa led the Cowboys with just six sacks last season. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones has let his feelings known about finding a “war daddy,” as a pass-rusher.
The Cowboys have a big cornerback need as well with the losses of Brandon Carr and Claiborne in free agency.
Humphrey had five interceptions in his two-year run as a starter for Alabama’s defense. He has the traits the Cowboys look for in corners at 6-foot, 197 pounds and he has speed. He also has scheme diversity with an ability to play press coverage as well as zone.