Thursday, May 30, 2024

Dallas Cowboys Draft Notre Dame Linebacker Marist Liufau

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The Dallas Cowboys selected former Notre Dame linebacker Marist Liufau in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Dallas took Liufau with the 87th overall pick, making the former Irish standout the fourth off ball linebacker to be taken in the 2024 Draft.

Liufau was a key part of the Notre Dame defense that was among the nation’s best during the 2023 season. Notre Dame ranked 7th in all of college football in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 15.9 points per game. The Irish also ranked 5th in total defense and 5th in fewest yards allowed per play. Notre Dame led the nation in pass efficiency defense (97.09), tied for first in fewest passing touchdowns allowed (8), finished second in fewest passing yards allowed (2,045), third in yards allowed per pass attempt (5.5) and they ranked 10th in interceptions.

The Hawaii native is an athletic linebacker that improved as a pass rusher during his final season with the Irish. After registering just 11 pressures in 2022 (2022), Liufau racked up 25 pressures for an Irish defense that was disruptive all season long.

Liufau finished the 2023 season with 44 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, three sacks and two pass break ups. He finished his Notre Dame career with 117 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and four sacks. Liufau was a key member of the linebacker rotation in 2022 when the Irish advanced to the College Football Playoff.

A leg injury forced him to miss the entire 2021 season, but he returned and started the next two seasons for the Irish. Liufau has top-notch athleticism and range at linebacker, and the Irish staff used that to attack downhill. Cleaning up his tackling will be a key, but he improved that part of his game this past season. If he can continue being more decisive against the run and improve his feel in coverage he’ll have a chance to be a strong all-around defender for the Cowboys.

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