The best way to build a football team is from the inside out, meaning the trenches. The Dallas Cowboys have definitely taken that approach so far in free agency by acquiring veteran’s Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe to buffer their interior defensive line. However, they could add a weapon coming off the edge on day three of the NFL Draft by selecting Syracuse Defensive End Alton Robinson.
A native of Converse, Texas, Robinson was set to go to Texas A&M back in 2016. Shortly after National Signing Day, he was charged with second-degree robbery after an altercation with his girlfriend. The charges were later dropped, but Texas A&M withdrew their offer. Robinson was close to signing with Oklahoma State but was unable to due to the Big 12 Conference’s misconduct policy.
Robinson would then start his collegiate career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. In his only season there, he was a force racking up 67 tackles (17 tackles for loss) and 14 sacks while also receiving second-team All-Conference honors. He would again be recruited by Oklahoma State, but due to uncertainty over the Big 12’s conduct policy, he wasn’t offered a scholarship. After being set to transfer to New Mexico State, Robinson de-committed in August and went to Syracuse.
He made an immediate impact in 2017 leading the team with five sacks and racking up 30 tackles (six tackles for loss). A year, however, Robinson had the best season of his college career totaling 39 tackles (17 tackles for loss), 10 sacks (second in the ACC), three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries while also garnering second-team All-ACC honors. Although his sacks went down to 4.5 in 2019 Robinson still had a career-high 46 tackles (9.5 tackles for loss), three passes defended, and a forced fumble en route to being named honorable mention All-ACC.
The 6’3 264-pounder plays with tremendous speed, bend, and power coming off the edge. Uses his hands well to prevent offensive linemen from locking him up. He possesses a very quick first step off the ball, pursues plays well from the backside and is a strip-sack opportunist.
Watch “Alton Robinson 2019 Season Highlights | Syracuse DL” on YouTube
With the aforementioned McCoy and Poe now anchoring the interior, All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence will see less double teams and have more one-on-one opportunities. With the return of suspended Defensive End Randy Gregory looking extremely likely with the NFL no longer suspending players for positive marijuana test, adding Robinson would give the Cowboys yet another threat from the perimeter and seemingly make the defensive line unit one of strength for the team.
Scouting report according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein