Like most people on the first visit to Cowboys Stadium, Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw couldn’t help but be in a little awe of Jerry Jones’ $1.2 billion football palace.
Upshaw made sure to snap a few pictures of JerryWorld, but he was there on a business trip as part of his pre-draft visit with the Cowboys. And Upshaw would be thrilled to call the place home if the Cowboys use the 14th overall pick on him.
“I would definitely love to play in it,” Upshaw said during an interview with Galloway and Company’s Ian Fitzsimmons that will air on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM this evening. “Just go out and dominate and make a name for myself. Everybody, once they step in that stadium, would know that Courtney Upshaw is coming to play.”
Upshaw potentially is a much less expensive replacement for Anthony Spencer, who is due to make $8.8 million this season and wants a lucrative long-term deal despite producing so-so results since the Cowboys used a 2007 first-round pick on him. Upshaw mentioned that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan – “one of the coolest coaches I met throughout my whole football career” – talked to him about the responsibilities of playing opposite DeMarcus Ware, such as frequently dropping into coverage on first and second downs.
“I feel I can definitely do that,” Upshaw said. “I did it here at Alabama – didn’t drop a lot in game situations, but did a lot of dropping in practice. Coach [Nick] Saban wanted me to rush the passer. I was one of the better pass rushers on the team, so he wanted me to get after the quarterback, and that’s what I did.
“I’m able to do whatever is asked.”