BERKELEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 05: Tyson Alualu #44 of the California Golden Bears warms up before their game against the Maryland Terrapins at California Memorial Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Business is beginning to pick up at Valley Ranch.
On Monday, the team's 14-week "voluntary" off-season conditioning program commenced, with near perfect attendance, and throughout the coming weeks, potential future Cowboys will be making their way through the halls of Valley Ranch for pre-draft meetings with the team.
Previously, we had reported visits with former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant, Kentucky fullback John Conner, Idaho guard Mike Iupati and Penn State linebackers Navorro Bowman and Sean Lee; on Monday that list expanded to include LSU receiver Brandon LaFell, Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick, Wake Forest corner Brandon Ghee, Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett and Ohio receiver Taylor Price, per the Dallas Morning News.
Oh, but the team wasn't finished there. They are afforded 30 national visits, per league rules, which consist of little more than a meet and greet, an opportunity for teams to get a better look at potential selections before the draft. On Tuesday, two more of these visits were reported, in Cal defensive lineman Tyson Alualu and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, a defensive back out of division II Indiana (Pennsylvania).
Listed at 6-foot 2 and 291 pounds, Alualu is ranked by scout.com as the eighth best defensive lineman in the draft. He played at each position along the defensive line while at Cal, but is listed officially as a tackle.
Small-school sensation Owusu-Ansah is one of the more intriguing figures in this year's draft. Owusu-Ansah played cornerback for the Crimson Hawks, but at 6-foot 1, 195, some teams may look to convert him to safety. Additionally, he is an adroit return man--he returned three punts and two kicks for touchdowns in 2009--a skill that has served his stock well this off-season; he is now projected as a second or third round pick.