Yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys brought in free agent running back Alfred Morris and defensive back Patrick Robinson for visits – now well into the free agency process. However, both players could contribute and make an immediate impact for Dallas in 2016.
I broke down the tape of Morris in the post below, and today we will take a look at Robinson.
Patrick Robinson was a first round draft pick for the New Orleans Saints in 2010, where he played in 58 games while recording 9 interceptions. After the Cowboys showed interest in him last off season, Robinson signed with the San Diego Chargers where he started 11 games for the Bolts this past season – recording one interception while playing on a one year deal.
There is no doubt that Rod Marinelli’s defensive unit needs help however they can get it in the secondary, and adding a versatile guy like Robinson could do wonders. Let’s enter the film room and see just who the Cowboys may be getting in Patrick Robinson:
While Robinson isn’t a perfect model for the Dallas secondary when it comes to his size, there is something to say about a guy that locates the football in coverage and puts himself in positions to make plays.
This is what you see from his first clip, as Robinson peels away from his first assignment to drop into the area that the throw is made. Not only is this a great play by #26, but it serves as one of many examples that display his excellent footwork, balance, and speed.
Robinson’s backpedal very good, and he can explode out of it in a hurry to make tackles like this:
I would be very interested to see how Robinson transitions to the Dallas defense. When at it’s best, the Cowboys secondary is built on coverages that require support from multiple players providing inside or outside help. As fans know, the team has also had it’s fair share of busted plays and breakdowns in communication from this unit over the past seasons.
Robinson’s tape repeatedly shows a strong understanding of his specific job on a play, and his ability to carry this trait to the Cowboys could be enormously beneficial.
We’ll take a look at one more play from the Chargers game against the Denver Broncos, which goes for a catch against Robinson, but notice his burst to the ball as he forces the throw to come into a very tight window.
Another thing that Robinson does with consistency is get his hands on wideouts at the line of scrimmage. No matter where on the field he is asked to cover, Robinson makes strong contact at the line of scrimmage that allows him to stick with the receiver through his route.
We get a sense of that while watching his only interception of 2015, as he also puts on another textbook display of keeping his eyes in the backfield to see this throw coming from Matt Stafford:
Robinson’s only INT of the season https://t.co/hKVoWQnTZg
The last play that we will watch for Robinson is likely my favorite example of him understanding the coverage that is called. The result of this play is an acrobatic interception by now-Raven Eric Weddle, but it is set up by Robinson’s coverage down the field.
Overall, Patrick Robinson is not a superstar that will completely solidify the Cowboys secondary. Instead, the addition of the 28 year old corner would add versatility, speed, play making ability and depth to the unit – which are four things they desperately need.
Should Jalen Ramsey be the first round selection for the Cowboys coming up in the draft, a secondary featuring Morris Claiborne, Orlando Scandrick, and Patrick Robinson playing in front of Byron Jones and Ramsey should excite Dallas fans that want to see this team bounce back from a 4-12 season – in which the only two corners to intercept a pass were Terrance Mitchell and Deji Olatoye.
What do you think of Patrick Robinson? Want to see him in the silver and blue very soon? Let’s talk about it! Shoot me a tweet @ShoreSportsNJ, or reply with a comment below. Be sure to also request more potential free agent targets that YOU want to see a film study of!
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