Jerry Jones recently said the Dallas Cowboys need a “war daddy” on their defensive line.
Unless you’re an award winning “Jerryatric” specialist, there’s no telling what a “war daddy” is. Most likely, Jones means that the Cowboys need a mentally tough, game-changing pass rusher.
Meet Tanoh Kpassagnon (pronounced Tawn-Oh Pass-N-Yo), a defensive end from Villanova. The 22-year-old, 6’7″, 280-pound senior is one of the small school sensations of the 2017 NFL draft class. The FCS All-American is considered very mature for his age having worked as an intern with an accounting firm throughout college. His work ethic alone will catch the attention of head coach Jason Garrett. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli might enjoy coaching this kid as well, if he’s added to the Cowboys’ stable in April.
With his 6’7″, 280-pound frame, 34 7/8″ arms and 10 7/8″ hands, Kpassagon uses his big frame well on passing downs. What jumps off the screen is his length and upper body strength. Similar to a pass rusher already on the Cowboys’ roster, David Irving, he uses his length to fight off blockers and make plays in the offensive backfield. Another strength in Kpassagon’s game is his ability to block kicks.
What Needs Improvement
Kpassagnon will need work on his footwork and stance. Before he can be locked in as a 2-gap edge setter, he will have to strengthen his lower body and work on his contact balance. He is a very raw power rusher. However, his length, combined with his athleticism and intelligence should intrigue the Cowboys. It’s worth noting that he had 21.5 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks, tieing him for 5th nationally, last fall.