It could've been coincidence or just the Dallas Cowboys doing their due diligence, but the fact they sent their defensive line coaches to the Houston Cougars recent Pro Day suggests they were there to watch one player in particular… Defensive End Payton Turner.
Large contingent of DL coaches in attendance at @UHCougarFB pro-day to put EDGE Payton Turner through position drills.
I find it hard to believe Dallas' DL coaches were at the Cougars Pro Day by happenstance. So, I think we can take that as a good indicator they have a relatively high interest in the former Houston DE. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Payton Turner is someone they're targeting on Day 2 in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With the Dallas Cowboys new DL coach Arden Durden as well as Leon Lett more than likely looking on, Payton Turner didn't disappoint and pretty much dominated every position drill he was put through. A case of turf toe kept him from running the 40, but he was absolutely impressive in everything else he did.
Take a look for yourself…
Pro Day 2021 ➡️ @pt_turner98 #GoCoogs x #hoUSton pic.twitter.com/mCdWSzHbG0
— Houston Football (@UHCougarFB) April 9, 2021
Payton Turner's rare length and athletic ability for his size (6'5″, 268) have a lot of teams salivating over the thought of adding a talent like his to their defensive line, including the Dallas Cowboys. But, just how interested are they really?
According to the man himself, Payton Turner, the Dallas Cowboys are one of the teams he's met with who have really stood out.
“I've spoken to every team at least twice…but the Jaguars, Cowboys, and Eagles stand out. I'm confident in my ability and every coach I've talked to is high on my versatility…but it would be my dream to stay home [Houston] and play for your hometown team.”
The Dallas Cowboys may not be Turner's hometown team, but I think he'd be happy if he just had to make a short drive north to Dallas to begin his professional football career. But, where and how would he fit in Dan Quinn's system?
Again, let's go to the source itself.
“I'm most comfortable at outside [line]backer, that's where most teams see me at. I played a year and a half on the edge and had supreme production where I showed versatility along with the ability to rush out of the 3-technique.”
That kind of versatility and position flex is something the Cowboys have valued pretty highly in the past. Whether Dan Quinn believes the same has yet to be seen, however, sending position coaches to Turner's Pro Day indicates he does. What do you think?
Rare size and athleticism, DE/DT versatility, and he'd provide much-needed depth at two positions…no wonder the Dallas Cowboys are showing an interest in Payton Turner. He could immediately step into the Tyrone Crawford role as a rookie and hopefully add a little more juice to the defensive line.
It' almost sounds too good to be true and it might be. Right now there's no way of knowing what will happen on Draft Day, but based on the apparent interest it won't be a complete shock if Payton Turner is one of the Dallas Cowboys draft picks.