The entirety of the 2021 Dallas Cowboys draft class is signed, sealed, and delivered on the doorstep of training camp.
As first reported by Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys on Wednesday inked defensive lineman Chauncey Golston and cornerback Nahshon Wright — both third-round picks — to their respective rookie deals.
The team has since confirmed the transactions.
Golston, chosen No. 84 overall, will earn $660,000 in base salary for the upcoming campaign as part of his standard-issue four-year pact, per the NFL’s rookie pay scale. He’s projected to take home a $233,925 signing bonus.
Wright, the No. 99 overall selection, will also receive $660,000 in 2021 salary while netting a $210,154 signing bonus.
The Cowboys previously got under contract first-round linebacker Micah Parsons, second-round CB Kelvin Joseph, third-round DL Osa Odighizuwa, fourth-round LB Jabril Cox, fourth-round offensive tackle Josh Ball, fifth-round wide receiver Simi Fehoko, sixth-round DL Quinton Bohanna, sixth-round defensive back Israel Mukuamu, and seventh-round offensive guard Matt Farniok.
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Background on Golston
A four-year contributor at Iowa, the 6-foot-5, 269-pound defender posted 71 solo tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, seven pass deflections, and three interceptions across 36 games from 2017-2020. He notched a career-best 5.5 sacks as a senior.
“Base end prospect for a 4-3 defense with potential to reduce inside for sub-packages,” NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote in Golston’s scouting profile. “Golston has added good weight on his frame since coming to Iowa, but holding the point of attack and setting a strong edge will be a challenge for him due to his lack of play strength. While his rush off the edge is ordinary, he flashes as a disruptive interior rusher able to slip into gaps and make some noise. There are some physical traits to work with, so he could find work if he can add more strength and keep improving his rush.”
Golston adds another able body to a defensive line featuring DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. He will be pushed for immediate if situational playing time by 2020 fifth-rounder Bradlee Anae, whom the coaching staff is high on.
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Background on Wright
“A more athletic and agile Richard Sherman,” the former Oregon State standout — literally; he’s 6-foot-4 — earned honorable-mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2020 after making 30 tackles (23 solo), four PBUs, two INTs, one sack, and a forced fumble over just six games.
“Lanky, angular cornerback with good length but bad speed,” Zierlein wrote in Wright’s scouting profile. “Wright possesses above-average instincts and shows some ability to squat, burst and smother shorter routes from off coverage, but he will need help over the top because his recovery speed is lacking. He doesn’t have the instant acceleration or agility to stay connected to NFL route runners, which will limit his scheme fits. His length and play traits could make him a target for Cover 3 defenses who care less about long speed and more about ball skills.”
Depending on his short-term development, Wright is expected to see snaps at right cornerback, likely opening the season as the backup to Trevon Diggs. He’ll need to hold off competition from veterans Maurice Canady and Deante Burton during training camp and the preseason.
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