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The Cowboys’ brain trust was accused of over-reaching when they used a third-round draft pick- the 99th overall- on Oregon State cornerback Nahshon Wright.

Wright is doing his best to prove to his new bosses it was a brilliant move. The rookie made a strong first impression in Dallas during the team’s OTAs and minicamp practices and earned praise from head coach Mike McCarthy.

“He’s made some plays,” McCarthy said per the team website. “There are some technique things, which we’re all are going through right now- pretty much at every position- but yeah, I really like the way that he’s jumped in here. He’s been aggressive, competitive. Definitely what you’re looking for in your young guys.”

The former junior college star has also turned the head of ESPN’s Todd Archer. The NFL Nation reporter singled out Wright as the Cowboys’ “surprise player to know” coming out of minicamp:

“Wright was something of a surprise pick in the third round, but his size (6-foot-4, 183 pounds) made him a perfect match for what coordinator Dan Quinn wants in a cornerback. Through the rookie minicamp and into the organized team activities and mandatory minicamp, Wright has been around the ball a ton. He had multiple interceptions and a handful of pass breakups. It hasn’t always been clean and he has a long way to go, but the Cowboys might have hit on a less-than-known pick.”

Just being a nice surprise thus far doesn’t punch Wright’s ticket, though, especially at his position. The Cowboys already have sophomore standout Trevon Diggs and veterans Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis in their ranks, and Kentucky’s Kelvin Joseph was drafted 55 spots ahead of Wright. But the youngster- he won’t turn 23 until after the season starts- is used to fighting for recognition, as evidenced by his ascension from Last Chance U to a starting role in a PAC-12 program.

“I definitely have an aggressive approach because that’s who I am as a player. That’s just kind of like my nature,” Wright said. “So just being physical and aggressive is what I try to do.”

That go-getter mentality could serve Wright well; as team staff writer Rob Philips points out, “the top four cornerbacks on last year’s roster missed time with injuries.”

For now, Wright’s job is to learn as much as he can, stay hungry, and keep showing up when called upon. His next opportunity will be July’s training camp in his home state.

“I’m looking forward to it, just being able to go out and showcase my talents, just because I know football’s not a game of T-shirts and shorts,” Wright said. “Being able to go out there and translate what I’ve been doing here.”

What he’s been doing so far… is surprising everyone who watches him play.


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