Gar Grad Soto Signs Contract With Cowboys

April 9, 2019

Shakir Soto took advantage of the opportunity he was presented with when he played eight games for the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football league that shut down operations last week.

Those eight games gave Soto a chance to get enough film out there to impress the Dallas Cowboys, who signed Soto to a free agent contract on Monday.

When he signed his contract with the Fleet in December, Soto’s ultimate goal was to find his way back on the roster of an NFL team. Soto signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Pittsburgh and was in camp with the Oakland Raiders last summer.

Now, the GAR grad will get the chance to try and crack the Cowboys roster.

“Honestly, the Cowboys were in contact with my agent for a while,” Soto said Monday night from a Dallas airport. “They were showing interest throughout the whole AAF season. Once the league ended and NFL teams were allowed to contact us, they made it happen.”

Soto said he knew last week the Cowboys wanted him, but he had to wait until he signed a contract before making any sort of official announcement.

Soto flew from his offseason residence in Orlando, Florida, to Dallas on Monday morning to take his physical and sign his contract. He flew back to Orlando on Monday night and will return to Dallas on Sunday to begin offseason workouts. There is a veteran minicamp before the NFL Draft, and he must attend OTAs. By signing his contract, Soto is on the Cowboys 90-man roster.

As far as where he will play on the defensive line, Soto believes the plan is to continue to play defensive tackle — where he played in the AAF and recorded four sacks and 12 total tackles. Soto bulked up to 300 pounds to better handle the rigors of playing inside.

“I met the defensive coordinator (Rod Marinelli), and he said he is excited to have me,” Soto said. “He told me he really liked what they saw with me against the run and rushing the passer. They told me they liked that I can play all four positions on the defensive line.”

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