The increasing importance of Hybrid players in the NFL- the Cowboys have several

In the last decade or two, the NFL has seen the value of so called “hybrid” players grow. What is a simple definition of a hybrid player? It is a player that is flexible enough to play multiple roles as opposed to a single traditional role for a position. These hybrid players are becoming more and more valuable in the modern game.The most common hybrid positions have been LBs, Safeties or TEs but can also include other positions as well.

An easy example of a hybrid player in today’s NFL is Micah Parsons, who is so flexible in ability he can be a “three tool defender”, who can rush the passer, tackle in space and cover receivers in the passing game. We‘ve seen Parsons line up as a DL, LB and even as an occasional Corner. He is easily the poster boy for the modern hybrid NFL player. Which may also end up eventually making Parsons the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. Other well known NFL hybrid players include SF WR Samuel Deebo, KC TE Travis Kelce and Chargers LB Khalil Mack to name a few.

The Cowboys have increasingly drafted or acquired more and more of these hybrid type players. Here are the Cowboys hybrid players and the multiple roles they play:

  • Micah Parsons– as mentioned earlier, the model NFL hybrid player. A true “3 tool defender” who can rush the passer, tackle in space and cover receivers in the passing game. He will be the highest paid defender in the NFL soon.
  • Tony Pollard- TP is an example of a hybrid RB because in addition to his game as a runner, he can also be used as a slot receiver, and has also been used very effectively as a weapon in kickoff returns.
  • Jayron Kearse- one of Dan Quinn’s most cherished players because of his versatility, Kearse can cover receivers like a safety, but also can tackle in space like a LB. His flexibility gives the Cowboys defense many options.
  • Jake Ferguson, Luke Schoonmaker, and Peyton Hendershot- this TE trio is very versatile. The modern NFL TE has become so important because of their versatility as both receivers and blockers. Being able to have 3 athletic TEs who can block and catch is a premium.
  • DeMarvion Overshown- this year’s 3rd round pick is another good example of a defensive player with loads of versatility. Overshown is probably the next Jayron Kearse in Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme because he has the size of a LB, can tackle in space, cover some receivers and occasionally rush the passer in a blitz. He still has to prove he can play at the next level but he does have the raw talent.

Having a player who can play multiple roles for a team is gaining increasing value in the NFL. It’s good to see the Cowboys have so many talented players with hybrid capabilities.

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