The Dallas Cowboys possess an impressive history when it comes to undrafted free agents. All-time greats like Tony Romo and Drew Pearson went undrafted. Last season, three UDFAs made the Cowboys’ initial 53-man roster. The Cowboys signed more than a dozen undrafted free agents since the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft. Florida A&M linebacker Isaiah Land is a standout name among the signings and possesses a terrific opportunity to suit up for the Cowboys in 2023.
Land was a popular prospect throughout the pre-draft process. The Cowboys swiftly pounced on his availability. Despite going undrafted, Land signed a three-year contract with the Cowboys worth nearly $3 million with $90,000 in guarantees, per OverTheCap. Land signed one of the largest multi-season contracts of any player in undrafted free agency.
Land racked up a number of accolades at Florida A&M. A former Buck Buchanan winner and SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, Land was largely considered the premier HBCU prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Land totaled an astounding 26.5 sacks throughout his final two seasons of college football. Land was Florida A&M’s most experienced and impactful player.
A Buffalo, New York native, Land is expected to undergo a position change while attempting to acclimate to the professional ranks. Often utilized as a traditional EDGE defender by the Rattlers, Land lacks the ideal frame necessary to play a similar role for the Cowboys. At 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, Land best projects as a linebacker moving forward.
Land is ultimately viewed as a high-end developmental prospect. The Cowboys saw enough potential to invest a three-year contract into his services. Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn may utilize Land as a sub-package quarterback hunter. Land possesses the athletic traits necessary to thrive in space.
Land was one of few HBCU prospects that received an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine. Land’s athletic traits were on display all throughout the week. He ran a blazing-fast 4.62 in the 40-yard dash with a 2.67 20-yard split and 1.59 10-yard split. Lower-body explosion was on display via Land’s 34.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-6 broad jump. Land’s athletic performance led to a Relative Athletic Score of 8.60. Athletic comparisons include David Ojabo and Myjai Sanders, per MockDraftable.
Land is a positional tweener, but Quinn and the Cowboys have flashed a creative willingness to place defenders in advantageous positions. Look no further than Micah Parsons, who went from playing off-ball linebacker to commanding a spot at EDGE. If the Cowboys invest a similar effort into Land’s transformation, the Florida A&M standout could develop into a quality player.
The Cowboys are deep at EDGE with depth options including Dante Fowler Jr. and Sam Williams, but Land should compete for a roster spot with a weaker group at linebacker. Land could find himself in direct competition with the likes of Damone Clark and Devin Harper. It provides Land with a fighting opportunity.
Land’s pathway to NFL success includes being more versatile, but his skill set and history of production indicate he belongs at this level. The Cowboys are rolling the dice on Land’s standout qualities. Land is an excellent bet to make Dallas’ final roster.
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