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March 07, 2013

TCU DE Stansly Maponga would have his dream fulfilled by becoming a Cowboy

TCU defensive end/linebacker Stansly Maponga wears his feelings on his arm. The tattoo on his right arm is a picture of the state of Texas. If he had his choice, he would stay in his hometown and play for the Cowboys.

Maponga, who is from Carrollton, met with the Cowboys at the combine. He expects another with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, possibly at the team's Dallas Day, before the draft. Maponga is projected as a mid-round pick.

"It would be a dream come true," Maponga said of becoming a Cowboy. "I'm a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, but who knows. We'll see."

Maponga might be a better fit as a 3-4 linebacker, which is what teams are trying to decide. Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler put Maponga through linebacker drills Thursday.

"We needed to see him do the linebacker drills to see how he would work out doing those drills,” Steelers scout Joe Greene said. “At Pittsburgh, he’ll be too small to play defensive end. We need him as a linebacker. For a defensive end who’s trying to play linebacker, I thought he did pretty good.”

Maponga, who is a shade under 6-2 and weighs 251, likely needs foot surgery.

Maponga, who initially hurt his foot in the first half of the Baylor game and missed the Texas Tech and Oklahoma State games, soon will consult Dr. Robert Anderson, the NFL’s go-to foot doctor based in Charlotte. He worked out anyway Thursday, posting times of 4.84 and 4.85 in the 40-yard dash, a 4.37 in the short shuttle and a 7.38 in the three- cone drill. He had a 291/2-inch vertical jump and a 9-6 broad jump.

Maponga put up 30 reps in the bench press at the combine.

TCU receiver Josh Boyce showed up to the team's Pro Day on crutches after having foot surgery Tuesday. Boyce has what is called a “Jones Fracture” – a fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot -- and the surgery is expected to sideline him 6-10 weeks.

But Boyce fully participated at the combine and ran one of the fastest 40 times at 4.38.

Boyce did not talk to reporters Thursday.

-- Charean Williams



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