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Chidobe Awuzie Continues to Show Signs of a Breakout Third Season

When you draft a guy in the early rounds the key thing you want to see from year to year is progression. After missing most of the during his season in 2017 with hamstring and ankle , Chidobe Awuzie showed his potential as an important link in the chain. He would see action in 10 games logging 6 starts as he finished with 25 tackles, 7 passes defended, 1 forced fumble and an interception.

Last season, Awuzie improved by leaps and bounds in multiple ways. He played in 15 games with 14 starts and saw his production dramatically increase. His tackles jumped up to 71 and his passes defended went to 11. What was noticeable when you watch the film was the improvement in his technique, anticipation and tackling in the open field. 80.2% of his tackles were solo, meaning he did a great job in open space bringing down running backs and receivers.

This brought about high expectations going into 2019 for the third-year pro, and he hasn’t disappointed so far, due in large part to his battles with in training camp.

In the two videos above he does a good job of defending Gallup even with his back turned. This goes back to what I mentioned earlier about anticipation which is an extremely valuable tool for a cornerback. At times all get beat rather if it’s off of the line of scrimmage or a double move in open space so having the skills to recover are definitely vital.

The below just might be my favorite play by Awuzie during training camp. He shows off his awareness skills as he recognizes the route by and makes a great play on the ball. will get credit for the interception but it was made possible by the savvy of Awuzie.

This past Saturday the kicked off the 2019 at Levi’s Stadium against the 49ers. Awuzie didn’t see a lot of action, understandably, but he made his few reps count.

The first video above shows Awuzie’s great recognition of the play drawn up by the 49ers. He sees the running an out route and makes a great open-field for a one-yard loss. On the very next play, he keeps good outside leverage and makes an excellent play on the ball on third down. Very strong series for the former Colorado Buffalo.

All-Pro Cornerback will be out probably the entire preseason as he nurses a hip that he had on in March. He’s expected to be ready by the time the Cowboys open the at home against the . His contract will be up after this season and he’ll have the chance to test the free-agent market. If Jones does decide to go elsewhere, the continued growth of Awuzie should make everyone in the building confident that he can step up and be the team’s number one corner if this particular scenario comes about. I expect a big 2019 from Chido.

What do you think?

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Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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