Late Bloomer

Dallas head coach Wade Phillips has made his career by creating aggressive defenses that wreak havoc on opposing offenses through aggressive rushing of the passer with enormous linemen and big, physical linebackers.

The Cowboys took their second such player in the second day of the NFL Draft in Oregon State's Victor Butler.

Butler was a defensive end at OSU, but almost definitely will slide back to outside linebacker in the NFL. After two relatively quiet seasons in Corvallis, the 6-2 ½, 248-pound Butler emerged in his junior and senior seasons, taking over as a starter for the Beavers in his final campaign.

Butler only timed a 4.84 in the 40, but he plays faster than the stopwatch suggests. He's very strong, and has long arms and huge hands. He also is very aggressive, collecting 34 tackles-for-loss in his final two seasons (39.5 in his career), and had 10.5 and 12 sacks in his last two years en route to earning first-team All-Pac 10 honors as a senior.

Unlike third-round selection Jason Williams, Butler will have to make the adjustment from being a down lineman in college to a stand-up linebacker in the NFL, but his strength and aggressiveness, as well as his excellent work on special teams and the offseason loss of Kevin Burnett via free agency, will give him a chance to stick at the next level.

Butler never has had to drop into coverage, so that is a skill he must master quickly, but he can contribute on special teams and excels rushing the passer, so he likely will get worked as a backup at both outside linebacker spots. If he can make an impression on special teams, his chances of making the final roster will be greatly improved.

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