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Francis Bernard - Utah Utes
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Cowboys Linebacker Names Former Utah LB Francis Bernard A Breakout Candidate For Dallas

Utah linebacker Francis Bernard (13) intercepts a pass from BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (1) and runs it back for a touchdown during the Utah-BYU football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch named former Utah linebacker Francis Bernard as a breakout candidate for the North Texas-based NFL franchise this season.

Vander Esch joined 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Wednesday, August 19, to discuss the Cowboys’ training camp.

During the radio interview, the 2018 Pro Bowl LB was asked which player on Dallas’ roster was a potential breakout candidate.

“Oh yeah. I think Francis in our room. Francis Bernard. I think he’s really taken off,” Vander Esch said. “He’s a smart kid. He plays fast and obviously he’s made plays. He’s gotten an interception in the last two padded practices so I think he’s making a name for himself. And I think he’s gonna be awesome for our room. Pumped to have him with us. Like I said, he’s smart. He plays fast. He’s instinctual. He’s going to be huge on special teams for us and when he finds his time on the field, he’s going to do just fine.”

Bernard and the Cowboys are currently preparing for the 2020 NFL season at the team’s training camp in Frisco, Texas.

Shortly after the 2020 NFL Draft in April, Bernard signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Cowboys.

Dallas is scheduled to open the season against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, September 13 at 6:20 p.m. (MDT). The game will broadcast on KSL TV.

Francis Bernard with Utah football

After playing running back and linebacker for two seasons at BYU, Bernard transferred to the University of Utah.

In 2018, he played in 12 games and tallied 38 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and an interception.

As a senior in 2019, Bernard started for the Utes. He finished with 85 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and a pair of interceptions.

He was named first-team All-Pac-12.

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