Cowboys reach agreements with two draft picks

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys have reached agreements with two of their eight draft picks -- defensive end Ryan Russell and linebacker Mark Nzeocha.

Russell, the Cowboys’ fifth-round pick, will receive a signing bonus of $202,988. He grew up in nearby Carrollton, Texas, before attending Purdue. He started 47 games in four years, finishing with 10 sacks and 33 tackles for loss. The Cowboys view him as a left defensive end in their scheme.

Nzeocha was the first of the Cowboys' three seventh-round picks. He will receive a signing bonus of $64,348. He is not practicing during the rookie mini-camp as he works his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last season at Wyoming. In seven games he had 59 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and five pass deflections.

Since the new collective bargaining agreement has been in place the Cowboys have signed their draft picks much quicker since the spots are slotted financially.

The Cowboys hope to have the majority of their draft class signed during the weekend mini-camp.