Last season, Dallas rolled the dice and went dangerously thin at the tackle position. After the great offensive line purge of 2011, the Cowboys entered the season with only Tyron Smith, Doug Free and Jeremy Parnell on the roster as eligible offensive tackles. It appeared that Dallas will tempt fate again for 2012, unless it can find some UDFA magic. One candidate for the wizadry is Taylor Dever, a member of the 90 man roster out of Notre Dame University.
Dever has a limited profile. He sat for three years behind Sam Young, a four-year starter for the Irish who didn't accomplish much in a short tenure with the Cowboys. CBSSports/NFLDraftScout rated Dever the 46th best OT prospect available for the draft last season. He's 6'5" and weighs just under 300 lbs.At the NFL Scouting Combine, he ran a 5.46 40 yard dash with a 7.49 second three-cone drill. That was the fourth best performance out of all tested at Indy; indicating that he does seem to have some lateral agility to his game.
During the combine, NFL.com gave him the following evaluation:
He plays with his pad level too high, an obvious hitch in his game, but he has a strong anchor and fought to win many one-on-one battles throughout the year. He will have to hope to be given an opportunity to develop in the right situation in the NFL, as he could be years away from being able to compete on game days... Exposes his frame immediately out of his stance, but once rushers are into his space he usually does a good job of anchoring and keeping a base enough to sustain a block. Displays decent technique in his pass set and fights to maintain a grip on his man despite rarely having leverage... Can get caught off balance at times against fast bull rushers, as he stands straight up out of his stance on the snap. At times an oncoming rusher can get leverage on him to win at the point. He would have a tough time early on against physical, leverage-seeking pass rushers and will need to overhaul his technique to be able to even be competitive in camp.