On the surface, Cowboys Nation has plenty of reasons to still be concerned about the team’s secondary. However, a closer look at the depth available for Rod Marinelli and Dallas to work with warrants some optimism for a unit that has been holding the Cowboys back for years.
Deji Olatoye and Terrance Mitchell stepped in at the end of the 2015 season to see some significant playing time, and certainly made the most of it. In the game the Cowboys were mercifully eliminated from playoff contention at AT&T Stadium against the Jets in week 15, Mitchell recorded the first interception by a Dallas corner since December of 2014 in a win at the Bears. Olatoye stepped in to start the very next week against the Bills, and recorded an interception of his own against Tyrod Taylor in the end zone.
There is something to be said about both corners, in a situation where the Cowboys were playing for pride, stepping up to record 2 of the 11 total turnovers the team forced in 2015.
Mitchell has the versatility and athleticism that the Cowboys desire from all of their players, and Olatoye brings an element that fans should welcome from this secondary after watching the likes of J.J. Wilcox – the ability to tackle in space.
The Cowboys are welcoming back Orlando Scandrick in 2016, while also banking on a repeat performance from Morris Claiborne based on what he showed in 2015. Unfortunately, both players are far from guaranteed cornerstones to this defense, and the same can obviously be said about Brandon Carr.
Adding Olatoye and Mitchell to this rotation suddenly makes the unit look a lot better for the Cowboys, as they make up for the lack of a superstar CB with four or five very serviceable players.
I’m not saying that the Cowboys secondary is going to be near the league’s best, but rather looking ahead to the summer days of training camp – where impact plays being turned in by Deji Olatoye and Terrance Mitchell should surprise very few close followers of the Dallas Cowboys.
How do you see these two players helping the defense in 2016? Comment below with your thoughts, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.