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Does Alec Lindstrom have the ability to go from UDFA to Cowboys’ starting center?

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The center position has long been a question mark for the Dallas Cowboys, ever since the retirement of Travis Fredrick. There was a center prospect in this year’s draft many pegged as the best center prospect in quite some time and they also pegged the Cowboys as an ideal landing spot for him. He was available when the Cowboys were on the clock, instead, they opted for a different Tyler. Tulsa offensive lineman Tyler Smith was the call, not Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum.

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The Cowboys decided to pass on the center position not only in the first round but in every round of the draft. It wasn’t until undrafted free agency when they decided to add Boston College center Alec Lindstrom. Lindstrom has NFL bloodlines as his father played three seasons in the league, and his brother Chris played at Boston College and was a first-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons. However bloodlines do not guarantee success. Does he have what it takes to make it on the Cowboys roster?

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Measures and Stats

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Listed Height: 6-foot-3

Listed Weight: 296 pounds

jersey number: 72

Stats (2021): 11 games played

Stats (career): 47 games played

Film Study Information

Games Watched: Clemson (2021), Florida State (2021), NC State (2021)

Best Game: Florida State (2021)

Word Game: NC State (2021)

Physical Skills Evaluation:

balance: Can have lapses of lunging forward and leaning into rushers if he is in an extended pass set. However, he is for the most part on his feet.

Hand placement: Places hands inside the shoulder pads and outside the breast plates. Able to gain leverage with relative ease.

power: Attacks with violence and it is not uncommon to see him finish blocks into the ground. Absorbs contact and is able to redirect it to clear running lanes.

Football IQ: Can be slow to recognize delayed blitzes or twists and stunts. Becomes fairly easy to knock of his intended mark.

anchor: Doesn’t do the best job of anchoring in right off the snap, but is able to re-anchor himself before the rush affects the QB. His lack of ability to anchor off the initial snap can really be shown against blitzing linebackers, as he can get put on the ground. As a whole needs to drop his hips more to cement himself into the ground.

Movement Skills: Gets out of his stance well. Ran a 1.75 10-yard split which was good for the 72nd percentile and it was followed with a 5.18 40-yard dash which was good for the 68th percentile. Rolls his hips through contact well.

Performance Evaluation:

Pass Protection: Has good hand placement but doesn’t latch onto the rushers, often they are able to get past him and cause pressure on the QB.

Flexibility: Doesn’t have the most ideal hip flexibility. Saw him reach a 1 tech and seal off a running lane but very little other than that.

Versatility: Only has experience playing center, so versatility is not a strong suit for Lindstrom.

Footwork/Foot Speed: Controlled mover in his pass sets. Stays square with the rusher at a high level.

strengths:

Has a lot of playing experience amassing 47 games played in his career at Boston College. Plays with evident power and loves finishing rushers in the dirt. Able to absorb power and redirect it at a high level. Controlled mover in his pass sets, generally does a good job of mirroring the pass rushers. Rolls his hips through contact well.

Weaknesses:

While he is controlled in his pass sets, there were a few times he appeared to be retreating and giving up ground in his set; not sure if this is taught at Boston College, but it is attributed to an early collapsed pocket on some occasions. Doesn’t anchor in at a high level and can get pushed back towards the QB. Doesn’t grip onto rushers and it showed a number of times as rushers were able to get past him with relative ease.

Fit with the Cowboys:

Lindstrom was a draftable player, so the Cowboys got good value by signing him in undrafted free agency. He has NFL bloodlines with his father and brother both playing in the league. He needs time to develop his anchor, his grip strength and his pass sets as a whole. However there is a path to see playing time for Lindstrom since signing with the Cowboys.

Starter Tyler Biadasz improved as the 2021 season progressed but is far from a locked in starter for this year, much less a mainstay for years to come. This could give Lindstrom time to develop and fight for his chance to be the long-term answer at center for the Cowboys.

Beyond Biadasz sits Matt Farniok, a seventh-round pick out of Nebraska in 2021. VP Stephen Jones hinted there were be competition for the starting gig there. Dallas has tried interior lineman Connor McGovern there after snapping at Penn State, but they’ve seemed to move off of that idea as a realistic possibility. Dallas also signed BYU’s James Empey as a UDFA, but there is talk of moving him to guard.

Prospect Grade:

Pass Protection (15)

eight

Anchors (10)

6

Balance (10)

7

Flexibility (10)

4

Hand Placement (10)

8.25

Versatility (10)

3

Power (10)

8.2

Movement Skills (10)

7.2

Football IQ (5)

4

Footwork/Foot Speed ​​(10)

eight

Final Grade:

63.65, 6th round player

one

one



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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