Advanced scouting: Montee Ball

March, 19, 2013
3/19/13
11:30
PM ET
Montee BallJeff Hanisch/US PRESSWIREMontee Ball had an NCAA-record 83 career touchdowns in his four-year career at Wisconsin.
To help preview who might be on the Dallas Cowboys’ board for the NFL draft, ESPNDallas.com has identified five players at five key positions that we’d like to learn more about. Along those lines, we’ve asked former Cowboys assistant coach Glenn “Stretch” Smith – the official scout of Galloway & Company – to study tape of each player and give his thoughts.

No. 5 running back: Montee Ball


Height/weight: 5-foot-11, 214 pounds

School: Wisconsin

Why he’s on the radar: The Cowboys need to address a running back position that averaged 3.6 yards per carry last season. DeMarco Murray is the starter, but a foot injury last season raised some questions about his durability. Stephen Jones said at the NFL owners meetings that he would like to see improvement from the running attack. Ball, the NCAA leader in career touchdowns, has the speed to get off the edge and does a good job getting to running lanes and making plays, according to scouts. He would be a nice backup to Murray if the Cowboys want to invest an early draft pick in him.

Projection: Late first round, early second

Stretch Truths: Running back had great stats his junior year. ... Excellent zone runner. ... Carries his pads with a good level and has hands to match. ... Good zone vision runner who can put his foot in the ground and make a quick decision to get up field. ... Has a good feel for the zone game. ... Not a power back or a north/south runner. Ran a 4.66 40 at the combine and improved that time to 4.46 at Wisconsin's pro day. ... Durable back. ... Just lacks burst.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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