OSU's Derek Burton making most of switch to defensive tackle

BRANDON CHATMON Modified: August 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm •  Published: August 14, 2009
5 f
or loss in 13 starts at defensive end as a junior.

He was part of an OSU defense that finished 87th in the nation in tackles for loss (5.1 per game) and 107th in sacks (1.1 per game).

The Cowboys will be counting on him to adjust quickly and become a key in the middle.

The former All-Stater from Muskogee is a bit undersized for the position at 6-foot-3, 282 pounds but has the quickness to hold his own inside.

"Derek has good balance and body control,” Gundy said. "At times, you can play (inside) at 282 with the ability to use your hands. He’s showing signs of being able to do that.”

If Burton can continue to improve and emerge as a disruptive force in the middle for the Cowboys, he would cause teams to double team him and free up defensive ends Ugo Chinasa, Jamie Blatnick, Richetti Jones and Jermiah Price to get after the quarterback.

"He’s going to demand a double team,” Price said. "He’s too quick, they can’t stop him. He has the quickness and strength to do what he wants to do.”