Cowboys rookie minicamp: LB Marist Liufau excited to get started

The Dallas Cowboys were in prime position to grab a running back in the third round of the NFL draft. Instead, after using the extra pick on offensive lineman Cooper Beebe, Dallas took linebacker Marist Liufau 87th overall. It’s possible the Cowboys could’ve waited until Day 3 to get Liufau, so this has put quite the spotlight on him going a few rounds early.

On Thursday, all 20 rookies reported to The Star in Frisco as they prepared for minicamp. Just before putting pen to paper on his rookie deal, Liufau spoke to reporters, and the giddiness inside couldn’t be contained.

It’s feeling real. I’m so excited to be here,” said Liufau with a smile on his face. “I’m just looking forward to everything moving forward and to meeting the guys and getting to know everyone here.

The Cowboys acquired veteran linebackers Eric Kendricks and Damien Wilson recently which strengthened the middle of the defense. Liufau has the opportunity to learn from two guys with tons of experience and not have so much of the load on him to come and be a starter right off the bat. Linebackers coach Scott McCurley mentioned that Liufau has the potential to be a middle linebacker as some point, but he’ll likely play on the strong side to kick things off in his development.

Liufau siad that he’s been training back home with his track coach while also diving into the playbook and getting acclimated to new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s scheme. Also, he’s been touching base with McCurley on what to expect in his rookie campaign.

I’ve been talking to coach McCurley since last week after the draft and things like that moving forward, just trying to get squared away with things.

Dallas gets a rangy linebacker in Liufau that patrols sideline to sideline with very violent intentions. He comes with 4.64 speed, a quick first step, he can shed blocks well, and he’s a beast making plays in space. Liufau’s ability to dissect plays and attack downhill make him a modable piece of clay for Zimmer and a potential building block at linebacker along with a returning DeMarvion Overshown, and Damone Clark who looks to take a leap in his third season.

When it came what he wants to show this weekend at camp, Liufau wants to lay a foundation of trust between himself and his teammates

First of all, that I’m here to work. I’m someone my peers can rely on, coaches can rely on, and that I’m ready to do what it takes to win.

There’s a lot to work with in terms of Liufau’s talent, and if anyone can maximize it, Zimmer can.


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