It’s no secret that the Cowboys have a completely revamped secondary. After signing Nolan Carroll to a three-year contract in free agency and spending four of their nine draft picks on secondary players, the team was ready to show off its new look secondary.
It didn’t start off all that well; Nolan Carroll was arrested for a DWI just days before mini-camp. Even with the DWI arrest there was still plenty to look forward to with rookies: Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Xavier Woods, and Marquez White. Then when you add in second year player Anthony Brown to the mix, Cowboys Nation had a lot to be excited about.
One problem, we have yet to see much from any of these guys in practice or games.
Jerry Jones: “Ability is availability.” Doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you’re not on the field, you’re not helping us
A famous quote that both Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett both use a lot is, “Ability is Availability”. Availability is something the Cowboys secondary is lacking plenty of heading into the third week of the preseason.
- Rookie Chidobe Awuzie started off camp on a high note, but hasn’t practiced the last two weeks and missed the last two preseason games.
- Same goes for Anthony Brown, who has been very limited in practice this week and hasn’t received any game reps since the Hall of Fame game three weeks ago.
- We haven’t seen anything from Jourdan Lewis who injured his hamstring the day he showed up to training camp. Lewis has been sidelined ever since.
- After a great game against the LA Rams, Xavier Woods also suffered a hamstring injury that has held him out of all practices and games since being graded as a top defender by PFF in week one of the preseason.
- And last but not least, Marquez White is also dealing with a hamstring injury that has limited him in practice and held him out of last weeks preseason game.
While I am a fan of all of these players, the practice and game reps these guys are missing worries me more the closer we get to September 10th.
Full list of absentees today: Keith Smith, Rico Gathers, Leon McFadden, Xavier Woods, Jourdan Lewis, Justin Durant, Tyrone Crawford.
** Chidobe Awuzie was also held out of practice this day as well.
In a little over two weeks, the Cowboys will be preparing for the New York Giants. A team many believe have a fair shot at taking the division title away from the reigning NFC East champs. The Giants offense is a tricky one to defend, and the Cowboys need all hands on deck in order to have a fighting chance.
The Giants offense is mainly run in three, four, and even five receiver sets. Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Harris, and Evan Engram will all be featured on the field come opening night and the Cowboys must be prepared to defend it.
The ideal scenario is that Nolan Carroll and Orlando Scandrick will settle in as the team’s starting corners, with Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis getting a lot of work splitting time on the outside and even in the slot. The only issue is that neither Awuzie or Lewis are back at practice yet.
Chidobe Awuzie is closer to returning than Jourdan Lewis. Both have hamstring injuries. Lewis isn’t expected to do anything this week
So as it stands now the Cowboys have just two healthy corners who are slated to make the 53 man roster, veteran Orlando Scandrick and Nolan Carroll. For a team that doesn’t have many veterans at cornerback, the lack of participation from almost all of these new faces is raising the question, is there concern surrounding the Cowboys new look secondary?
I would have to say yes, and these guys need to get back to practice and get some preseason work in before I feel any better about the secondary situation.
With Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., and Sterling Shepard in the Cowboys’ near future these young corners need to get back into practice and receive some game work to knock any rust off before the season opener.
Are you worried about the Cowboys secondary depth chart heading into week three of the preseason? Let me know below!