A new Henry?

Ever since Anthony Henry was traded to Detroit for Jon Kitna and the Pacman Jones experiment imploded over the offseason, it has been no secret that the Cowboys needed to bolster their crew of cornerbacks.

Dallas added a talented player in the fifth round Sunday with the selection of Cincinnati cornerback DeAngelo Smith (5-10 5/8, 194, 4.55).

The two-time second-team All-Big East honoree has good size and is extremely physical, dishing out hits usually made by much bigger players; he had 126 tackles in his career, including 102 over his junior and senior seasons. Smith has good hands, with 12 career interceptions, including eight as a junior. He also knows what to do once he gets the ball in his hands — as a senior in high school, he had 11 interceptions, and took five of them back for touchdowns.

Smith is an interesting prospect as a cover corner. He doesn't have elite speed, and is an inconsistent tackler. But while he sometimes gives too big of a cushion, that's something that can be corrected with top-level coaching. He also gives the Cowboys an element of versatility, in that he can play either side of the field or step inside and cover slot receivers, too. In obvious passing downs, if the defense adds an extra defensive back, he even can fill in occasionally at safety.

Smith has an aggressive, gambling nature that lends itself to making big plays … or getting burned. Coupled with his overall athletic ability, it allows him to make significant contributions on special teams, either as a return specialist or covering on kicks.

But with his athleticism and versatility, coming to a cornerback-needy team like the Cowboys might be the best possible destination for Smith.

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