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Could the Cowboys tap the Boise State pipeline yet again?"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Dallas Cowboys NewsDallas Cowboys 2019 DraftCowboys draft prospect: Running back Alexander MattisonNew Xavier Woods Jersey Stitched ,46commentsCould the Cowboys tap the Boise State pipeline yet again?CDTShareTweetShareShareCowboys draft prospect: Running back Alexander MattisonBrian Losness-USA TODAY SportsName: Alexander MattisonSchool: Boise StateHeight: 5’11”Weight: 221 lbs2018 stat line: 13 games, 302 carries, 1,415 rushing yards, 4.7 ypc, 17 touchdowns, 27 receptions, 173 receiving yards, 6.4 yprCombine results: 4.67 40-yard dash, 22 bench press reps, 35” vertical, 127” broad, 7.13 3-cone drill Youth Joe Looney Jersey , 4.29 short shuttle, 11.69 long shuttleIt’s no secret by now that the Cowboys love taking players from Boise State. There are six players currently on the roster that played college football for the Broncos, and there have been plenty more that the team has at least expressed interest in. In the team’s search for a backup running back for Ezekiel Elliott, they might go back to the pipeline and look at Alexander Mattison. Mattison seems to be an all-around running back. Unlike the strength of Damien Harris or the agility of Darrell Henderson, Mattison doesn’t have any one single trait that is his calling card. He’s just a darn good football player. The first thing that sticks out when watching Mattison play is his balance. He can cut or juke or even hurdle (see the below video, where he does all three) and come down on his feet and immediately transition back into his run. More than that, Mattison is able to shrug off a lot tackles with his balance. Mattison is also really good at waiting for holes to open up behind the offensive line and then hitting those holes. Boise State ran a lot of zone running concepts and Mattison excelled in those kinds of plays. Going along with his balance, he does a good job of keeping a steady stride and bounce when looking for the hole, and his excellent vision allows him to make the right cut more often than not. The one weakness here is that on plays where Mattison is forced to cut back to the other side of the field at the line of scrimmage, he can be a bit slow in that change and this is where he most often got brought down for a loss of yards. However, Mattison makes enough positive plays to more than make up for the negative ones. And he’s shown that he can carry a heavy load, with 212 carries in his sophomore year and 302 in his junior year. Both of those seasons saw him break 1,000 rushing yards and post double-digit touchdowns. He has the ability to be the workhorse running back that a lot of teams look for Joe Looney Jersey Stitched , and his lack of injuries is even more impressive considering the heavy workload. Out of all the running backs I’ve looked at this draft season, Mattison is by far the best pass blocker, which goes back to my earlier point about him being an all-around back. When asked to block in pass protection, Mattison takes good angles with his feet and isn’t afraid to step into blocks. He also uses every inch of his sturdy frame to anchor against defenders and not give up any leverage. Obviously, he’s not going to be able to hold off defensive tackles or more powerful edge rushers, but Mattison is good enough and smart enough blocking that he can buy his quarterback some extra time. Mattison wasn’t used too much in the passing game at Boise State, and he saw most of his usage there in the form of screens or check down passes. Still, he was effective in that role, catching the majority of passes thrown his way and averaging 8.5 yards per catch in his three year career. There might be some potential for an NFL team to expand his usage there, given his sure hands. Mattison should go earlier than he will; he has a couple of knocks on him. He doesn’t have the break-away gear of a home-run hitter. Also, as a player from Boise State there is concern over a lower level of competition. Or at least a perceived low level of competition. Playing in the Mountain West Conference doesn’t have the same allure as the SEC or ACC, but that hasn’t stopped the Cowboys from taking numerous Boise State players. Not to mention that Michael Gallup played in the MWC at Colorado State, and he’s quickly become their number two wide receiver. Additionally Youth Jaylon Smith Jersey , Mattison doesn’t have the break away gear of a home-run hitter,It’s hard to project where Mattison might go in the draft. Personally, I’d value him in the third or early fourth round, and some team might be sold enough to take him there. At the same time, though, Mattison could fall to the fifth or sixth round, where some team will get extremely lucky. Either way, he’s definitely in the Cowboys range and would match the criteria of a complete running back that they tend to look for. Let’s get the elephant out of the room. It was the Pro Bowl, an exhibition game where everybody plays at half-speed and the referees stop the tackling at first contact. It’s not exactly the environment where you can judge anything. Regardless, Cowboys fans were tuned in to see what kind of game presumptive offensive coordinator Kellen Moore would call. Much to their disappointment, it kind of looked like Scott Linehan’s offense. The huge caveat here is that Moore has not had any real time to alter the scheme, and given that he was working with a whole set of players he doesn’t know, sticking to the basics was likely all we were going to get. Still Jaylon Smith Jersey Stitched , scoring only seven points in an All-Star game where defense is suspect is not the best look. There were some wrinkles, such as when the Cowboys offensive coaches decided to give Ezekiel Elliott a direct snap. Zeke also got some action on a fake punt.One moment that had to give the Cowboys faithful heartburn was a fourth-and-two call right around the goal line. Given it was the Pro Bowl, and with all options available with no real pressure, the Cowboys coaching staff chose to.... run a dive play up the middle. It got stuffed. Any call but that one would have made Cowboys fans happy.Before we get too carried away, it was a meaningless game with little prep time and an assortment of players who didn’t really know each other and were playing at varying levels of aggressiveness. It’s not really the ideal way to judge anything. With that said, it would have been exciting to see a little more creativity besides a handful of gadget/trick plays. StatsOverall, the Cowboys-coached NFC squad put up only 148 offensive yards with one touchdown. The AFC put up over 400 yards on offense and scored 26 points.Dak Prescott went 4 for 11 with one touchdown and one interception for a 41.9 rating.Ezekiel Elliott ran for 33 yards on three carries but 22 of that came on the fake punt. He also caught two passes for 14 yardsAmari Cooper had one catch for eight yards, though he was targeted five times.Leighton Vander Esch led the NFC in tackles with seven total (six solo).DeMarcus Lawrence had one tackle for loss.Byron Jones had one tackle and one pass defensed.
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