It’s no secret that suspensions, injuries and free agent failures have left the edge rush as the biggest question mark on the Cowboys roster heading into preseason. So, Guess Who? is here to take a look at the unheralded names hoping to break into Rod Marinelli’s gameplan and the 53 man squad. First card to flip, 26-year old journeyman Mike McAdoo.
Stretching the tape measure to 6’7″ and checking in at 245 lbs, the long and lean defensive end arrived on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad late last season. Giving away at least 20 pounds to fellow teammate David Irving, McAdoo saw preseason action with the Baltimore Ravens in 2011, spent time in the CFL during the 2013 season and last year caused havoc in the Arena Football League with 11 sacks. But when his number’s called, will McAdoo bring any spark for a team sorely in need of explosion off the edge?
What We Love: Now we’re talking about limited tape here, but the former Tarheel jumps off the snap with immediate quickness, taking no time to reach top gear and attack blockers. He flashes the ability to use considerable length to convert speed to power and put tackles in reverse. With that foot speed McAdoo ably captures the edge and uses active hands to swat blockers, keeping them off his body as he turns the corner. It may have been against vastly inferior Arena Football League competition, but McAdoo also took advantage of opposition wariness of his speed to cross the face of tackles, darting inside and making a bee-line for the quarterback. More importantly, this is a counter move we’ve already seen in training camp film this year. Without games in the Silver and Blue we haven’t seen full throttle finishing yet, but there is violence in his closing speed and hitting ability, repeatedly flooring ball-carriers with delicious pop.
What We Don’t Know: Whether he gets off the ball with consistent anticipation, McAdoo is not always the first (or second) lineman flying off the snap. Because of his height and linear build he can also get bounced past the pocket when he doesn’t keep low as he bends. Eager to see more dramatic force in his rip move after capturing the edge as well, getting his shoulders/hips past the OT and capitalizing on his closing burst to complete the play on the quarterback.
With DeMarcus Lawrence out for the first 4 weeks, Benson Mayowa making his way back from minor knee surgery, and Randy Gregory’s playing future in serious jeopardy, there is desperate need for a young infusion of talent in the ‘Rushmen’ room. Despite the presence of cult-favorite David Irving, Mike McAdoo has come the long-way around to build momentum as another vertically-endowed pass rusher worth eyeing as Dallas continues the search for priceless pocket pressure.