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Could a Dallas Cowboys Cornerback be Moving to Safety?

The Dallas Cowboys made several moves throughout free agency, and the 2020 NFL Draft bolster their cornerback depth in the wake of Byron Jones’ departure for the Miami Dolphins. In free agency, they added Maurice Canady and re-signed Anthony Brown and C.J. Goodwin. Over the weekend, in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys spend their second-round pick on Alabama Cornerback Trevon Diggs and then spent a fourth-round pick on Tulsa Cornerback Reggie Robinson.

Taking a quick look at the Dallas Cowboys cornerback depth chart, there’s quite a bit of depth.

  • Chidobe Awuzie
  • Jourdan Lewis
  • Anthony Brown
  • Maurice Canady
  • Trevon Diggs
  • Reggie Robinson
  • C.J. Goodwin

That’s seven players that could each vie for a roster spot when the Dallas Cowboys head to the regular season. While the Dallas Cowboys have spent resources on acquiring players to play cornerback, they haven’t done the same at safety.

With remarkable depth at the cornerback position and no addition to the safety mix during the draft, Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy offered up an idea that could use some of that cornerback depth to bolster the safety group.

David Helman on Twitter

Mike McCarthy just said he thinks the Cowboys have some cornerbacks who can play safety. Take one guess about who that might be. So go ahead and fire up that speculation gravy train.

For the last several years, as the Dallas Cowboys did very little to address the safety position, it’s been speculated that Chidobe Awuzie could make a move to safety. Though he’s had some struggles at cornerback, his skill set could translate better to playing a free safety position in the NFL.

When Awuzie can play with his eyes on the quarterback and keep the play in front of him, he shows nice instincts to track and make a play on the football. Where he’s struggled is when playing a trail coverage technique that requires him to find the ball with his back to the quarterback. While often in excellent coverage, Awuzie struggled to get his head around to find the football and impact the pass attempt.

Awuzie has the speed and agility that could lend itself to playing two-high or even single-high safety in the NFL if the Dallas Cowboys were to make that transition. His athleticism and tackling would be useful in run support and covering tight ends.

The other player that could potentially make a move to safety is Cornerback Jourdan Lewis. On the surface, his size may scare you away from playing safety. However, he’s pretty much the same size as 2020 second-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Antoine Winfield Jr. Winfield may have a bit more weight, but Lewis is a little bit taller.

Jourdan Lewis has the ball skills, aggressiveness, and coverage ability to play safety. He could fill a similar role as Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu. Someone who can play in the box, cover tight ends and wide receivers out of the slot, and play some two-high and single-high safety.

Trevon Diggs projects to be a starting cornerback in the NFL sooner rather than later, and Reggie Robinson could earn himself a role starting as well. With Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Xavier Woods, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix scheduled to be free agents next offseason, the Cowboys need to see if one of their veteran cornerbacks could find a new home at the safety spot.

Between Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, the Dallas Cowboys have a couple of players that could make the transition to safety this season. Though it would be unlikely that they would push for a starting role in 2020, they could become a valuable rotational player at the position with sights set on an extension next offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys have some decisions to make at the cornerback position. Moving one of Chidobe Awuzie or Jourdan Lewis to safety could help solve the numbers game they’ll face when they eventually have to reduce their roster. Finding a way to get the best out of either of these players is of the utmost importance heading into the final year of their contracts. If either can make a successful transition to safety, it could help solidify their secondary for 2020 and perhaps beyond.

Ep 30: 2020 NFL Draft Recap with Kevin Turner by Inside The Cowboys

In this episode of Inside The Cowboys, John Williams from InsideTheStar.com is joined by Kevin Turner of the About Them Cowboys Podcast on The Athletic to recap the 2020 NFL Draft.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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  1. Great read! Safety is the biggest need now and using Awuzie and Lewis sounds reasonable. Who else is good at covering TEs other than Lewis?

  2. I think they did a nice job across the board still think they need things to go right with Gregory and smith as well as add another linebacker, hey Mike give Clay a call.Final piece of the puzzle could still be Jamal Adams.Jets just drafted a safety and I think if you offered Connor Williams and next years 4th rounder it might get it done

  3. I have been saying for 2 years to move Awuzie to safety! He is fast and athletic but is much better playing the ball in front of him. He moved all over the field at Colorado and is better suited at safety!!

  4. A 4-2-5 will be the base. Chico and Diggs on the boundary, Lewis in the box, Woods and HaHa over the top, and with LVE and Smith, hopefully healthy, that would be about as good as a back seven we can field.

    • 4-2-5 is what will get played the most for sure. That’s likely what it will be, but with Anthony Brown’s ability to play the slot and Lewis who could cover on the outside, you could see Awuzie move to safety, which has been thought of before.

  5. Trust me. Not one rookie will start at any position in 2020. Lewis is too small to cover tight ends. Chido is a corner, not a safety. Maybe this Robinson kid can play safety. Either way it’s going to be a problem.

  6. It’s kind of obvious, Reggie Robinson. He has the size and length, but lacking a bit in speed. Some of draft profiles mention this possibility. I like Lewis a lot at CB, but don’t see him a Safety at 5′ 9″, 5′ 10″ -190 lbs.

  7. Good suggestion, but who is going to cover Zach Ertz. Free safety is one concern, but who is playing strong safety?

  8. In today’s NFL, there is no real reason for people to be thinking traditionally about positions. The whole concept of 3-4 or 4-3 with 2 CBs and 2 Ss is nearly obsolete, or at least it should be. Think “coverage” first: how are we going to effectively cover 3 WRs, 1 athletic TE and a RB that can catch out of the backfield? That takes five coverage players. Why not play with 4 CB and 1 S in those formations?

      • With Marinelli they pretty much “played” (past tense) 2 corners and 2 safeties. I think you are going to see a much more flexible approach as mentioned above. If we want to see what doesn’t work in today’s NFL, just watch the Cowboy’s defense the last 3 years. Legion of boom and Tampa 2 only works with the right players and today’s passing rules don’t favor the traditional favorites.

  9. Chido ran down Barkley from the far side of the field to make the tackle. He was clocked at 22 mph. After that NYG game they gave Chido a “random” blood test. With that kind of speed and area covered I would think he would make a real good free safety.

  10. I’m fine with being rotation players. Last year the only rookie who had his name called was Tony Pollard.

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