Recent injuries to Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, Marqueston Huff, and Jameill Showers (done for the year) have depleted an already thin safety position even more. Unfortunately, depth is in short supply for the Dallas Cowboys, but it has opened the door of opportunity for some of the lesser-known younger defensive backs to show what they can do.
Enter Tyree Robinson.
Joining the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after the completion of the 2018 NFL Draft, Robinson fit the checklist Kris Richard gravitates towards for his secondary players, especially at safety. He possesses the prototype traits for the role, most notably the height and length.
At 6'3″, 200, Tyree Robinson's lanky frame and functional length really stands out on the field. It served him well during his time at Oregon, and hopefully continues to do so with the Cowboys.
While at Oregon, Robinson amassed 201 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, six interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), 23 pass deflections, and four recovered fumbles in 52 career games.
As an UFDA, Robinson's chances to stand out in practices or in the preseason would probably have been considered thin to none. Chances for the lower roster guys to earn a role for themselves with established players already ahead of them on the depth chart are few and far between, but injuries have provided him an opportunity to do just that.
In the Cowboys second preseason game last Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals, Tyree Robinson logged a team-high 48 snaps and performed admirably. The stat line may have him with just three tackles in that contest, but the fact he was able to jump in and not negatively impact the defense should be considered a huge plus.
Even though the Dallas Cowboys recently signed a couple of safeties this week (Dominick Sanders and Jeron Johnson), I think we should all be keeping a close watchful eye on No. 23, Tyree Robinson. He was after all one of the players Will McClay talked up as a potential “dark horse” candidate not too long ago.
Personally, I'm expecting Robinson to seize this opportunity. His versatility to play free safety or cornerback is his calling card to stick around, quite possibly earning him a roster spot on the final 53-man roster. But, it's his nose for the ball and pack with the punch when delivering a tackle that will endear him to fans.
Tyree Robinson still has an uphill battle to make the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster, but his ability to play centerfield or on the perimeter as well as contribute on special teams gives him a fighting chance. These injuries have given him the opportunity, but it's up to him to take advantage of it.
I believe Robinson is one of those players who has yet to play his best football and with added discipline, he has the playmaking ability and natural instincts to make his mark with the Cowboys. With just a few preseason games left, the coaching staff will surely be keeping a close eye on him to see if he can turn into yet another undrafted free agent find.