The Cowboys thought of Marvin Austin as a 4-3 defensive lineman when he was in the draft two years ago, so they stayed away from him because they were playing a 3-4.
But now that they’re a 4-3 team, they decided to take a look at the former second-round pick, signing him Monday after a workout.
“He’s one of those guys we kept our eye on,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Obviously, our situation on the defensive line, we’ve had a lot of injuries up there, so you look at the landscape of personnel and see who you can bring in and try to help your football team.”
The Cowboys are high on bringing in players who have been playing, and Garrett noted that Austin spent training camp with the Giants before he was released and played with Miami until two weeks ago.
“He’s in pretty decent shape because he’s been in training camp and been playing,” Garrett said. “We’d like to tap into some of that ability that caused him to be such a high draft pick.”
Austin was considered a first-round talent, but he slid to the second round, where the Giants drafted him, because of character questions. He was one of the players suspended at North Carolina in 2011 for receiving improper benefits and missed his senior season.
Garrett said the Cowboys have heard good things, however.
"What we know about him is a lot of really positive things," he said. "There are some positive physical traits and some positive character personality traits you want to tap into. You want to give a guy a blank slate when he comes in, and hopefully the environment you create for him brings out the best in him. We’re in a situation where we have to cast the net a little bit wide."-- Carlos Mendez