Despite signing tackle Jason Ferguson after switching to the 3-4 defense last year, Dallas still must find additional depth at the position before the start of the 2006 season. Consequently, it should come as no surprise the team is actively scouting defensive tackles in preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Next Monday and Tuesday, the team will welcome former Michigan State tackle Domata Peko (6-2.5, 307) to Valley Ranch for a visit, TheRanchReport.com has learned.
Peko is a former junior college All-American who was also selected to play in the Hula Bowl after his senior season in East Lansing. He also has an older brother who has spent time with the Indianapolis Colts as an offensive lineman.
"I think that it benefited me tremendously," Peko said of his Hula Bowl experience. "I did really well in practice, and felt like I was dominating the one-on-one drills against the offensive line. I did well in the game too; I had six tackles and a fumble recovery."
Peko is also one of at least two defensive tackles the Cowboys have shown significant interest in this spring. The Cowboys also extensively interviewed Michigan's Gabe Watson during the Senior Bowl.
He could be a late-round target, but he will more than likely be an undrafted free agent. The former Michigan State standout has also had formal interviews with Miami and Cincinnati.
Peko, who is currently ranked as the No. 23 overall defensive tackle available in the 2006 NFL Draft, posted 53 tackles during his senior season.
Full Name: Domata Peko School: Michigan State Pos: DT
Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 307 40: 5.25 Year: 5Sr
Bio: Junior college transfer who broke into the starting lineup as a senior and posted 53/3/1 after 14 tackles the prior season.
Pos: High-intensity defender who projects as a one-gap lineman at the next level. Plays with excellent pad level, gets leverage on opponents and is fluid moving laterally. Fights with his hands throughout the action and plays hard until the whistle blows.
Neg: Lacks playing strength, can be ridden from the point and rarely gets penetration. Does not display a great first step off the snap.
Analysis: Playing with reckless abandon, Peko goes incredibly hard for 60 minutes. Offers upside as as a three-technique lineman or rotational tackle in a conventional defense.
* Ed Thompson of ColtPower.com contributed to this report.