Dallas Draft Preview: Emmanuel Cook

A look at a possible Cowboys draft pick, South Carolina safety Emmanuel Cook

Ladies and gentlemen, it is draft season. 

This is either an exciting or a frustrating time for Cowboys fans.
 
Exciting because, well, we get a look at our (and Jerry’s) new toys for the first time, ripe with potential and the capacity to be either the next big thing or an ignominious bust that will be forgotten as quickly and definitively as Ashlee Simpson’s reality show.
 
The frustration, of course, is rooted in the fact that Dallas has no first round pick, a manifestation of the October 2008 trade that sent Roy Williams to Dallas.
 
In any case, Dallas owns the 51st overall pick in the 2009 draft, and (almost) all signs point to the pick being spent on a safety. With the NFL Draft only five days away, we should probably spend the week looking at some players that might be Dallas Cowboys this time next week, right?
 

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Today, we are studying South Carolina safety Emmanuel Cook.
 
Cook is known as a sure tackler, a hard hitter and a physical run enforcer in the mold of a Bob Sanders. He was named to the All-SEC team each season he spent at USC, and was a large part of the revered Gamecock defense in 2009.
 
Over three seasons at South Carolina, Cook recorded 226 tackles and three interceptions.
 
Cook’s downside is rooted in (a) his size (b) his speed and (c) his character; he is listed at 5 feet 9 and three-quarter inches and his speed is only ‘OK.’ He ran a 4.66 40-yard dash at the combine.
 
Cook seems to match up poorly in coverage, a caveat that may scare Dallas away, as they recently sent a similar hard-hitting, mediocre coverage safety from Oklahoma out of town.
 
Character also seems to be an issue for Cook, who was suspended in 2006 after being arrested on gun charges.
 
His college career ended on a dubious note, as he was deemed academically ineligible for the Outback Bowl last season. These red flags have led some insiders to question the 21 year-old’s intangible qualities.
 
Cook is ranked as the eighth-best safety by scout.com’s position by position rankings.
 
Tomorrow, we look at No. 7, Oregon’s Patrick Chung.
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