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Has Anthony Brown Lost His Spot in Dallas Cowboys Secondary?

Sean Martin

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Has Anthony Brown Lost His Spot in Dallas Cowboys Secondary? 1

The Dallas Cowboys commitment to turning over their secondary was realized fully at last year's NFL Draft. With the team grabbing two starters in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, the two second-year players are now set to play with Byron Jones at cornerback in Kris Richard's defense. This retool unexpectedly began the year before though, as the Cowboys stole Purdue's Anthony Brown with the 189th overall pick.

Brown was a sensation in his first year, providing the hope that the Cowboys could find more young cover players like him. Brown defended eight passes as a rotational cornerback, playing with the type of ball skills and speed that the Cowboys defense had been missing.

Regressing a bit to his draft status in 2017, Brown was frequently turned around on the outside and beat over the top. It was his struggles that opened the door for Awuzie to earn a starting outside CB spot after returning from injury.

New Passing Game Coordinator and Secondary Coach Kris Richard has already earned plenty of respect on the Cowboys staff. His experience speaks for itself, as Richard was the architect to the Seahawks 'Legion of Boom'.

A Super Bowl winning defense built with size and length on the back end, the prospects of Awuzie and Jones lining up on the boundary for Dallas is incredibly exciting. For a defense that will still pride themselves on keeping passes in front of them, these two outside cornerbacks are hard to run away from or stretch the field against.

Has Anthony Brown Lost His Spot in Dallas Cowboys Secondary?

Dallas Cowboys CB Anthony Brown

Where Anthony Brown was able to regain some confidence last year was in the slot. As an inside defender, Brown trusted his quickness and technique more to give the Cowboys value down the stretch. This is also where Jourdan Lewis has a chance to become one of the best players at the position across the league, starring as a Nickel player at Michigan.

Lewis' play on the outside may have caused Cowboys Nation to forget about just how much better he sticks to slot receivers, with the beloved "position flex" to line up anywhere and compete.

With so much depth to address elsewhere on the roster, Lewis and Brown may be competing for the same spot - with Jourdan's already secured. While it is still very possible that Richard sees enough in Anthony Brown to keep him around for 2018 and beyond, roster spots in Dallas are only getting harder to earn.

As we begin the incredibly long process of projecting the Cowboys eventual 53 man roster, Anthony Brown feels like one of the bigger names that could miss the cut. There is plenty of promise left in Brown's game, but in two off seasons worth of work the Cowboys have found more blue chip players in the secondary.

Considering the numbers the Cowboys keep at CB could be a direct reflection of the depth they want at DL and LB, Rod Marinelli's defense is going to look better on paper than it likely ever has in Dallas.

Whether or not this includes third-year Cornerback Anthony Brown is going to be something I'll be very interested to keep track of.

Tell us what you think about "Has Anthony Brown Lost His Spot in Dallas Cowboys Secondary?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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5 Comments
  • Saul Molina

    I think they will give him a shot as the fourth man but if he struggles early they will go a different route

  • Randy Martin

    I think it’s fair to say that he “hasn’t” lost his spot, but that he possibly could. One clear message I’ve seen through the draft and the players they have brought in, is that there will be all out competition at some spots and everybody has an audition. Roster spots are not to be handed out like participation trophies but will be earned as medals of war. In the case of CB, you can probably throw Marquez White’s name into that mix as well. Furthermore, Duke Thomas is in consideration too. Of course we know Jones, Lewis, and Awuzie are safe, with the rest vying for snap counts and roster spots. It’s also going to be fun to watch the competition along the D-line and the WR position where there is a gluten of players.

  • Patrick Bowhay

    This article questions whether he could stay on the team as a 4th corner but mentions no one that would take his spot. It almost implies that they would only keep 3 corners on the roster. Cutting an inexpensive backup corner on his rookie contract would be dumb. We will keep at least 5 cornerbacks so I do not understand this article.

  • EverybodyTalks

    Not even close. He will easily be on the roster. Brown has a bad habit of depending on his speed. He takes chances. Keep his eyes on the opposing QB and the result is he gets burned. With some coaching up from Kris, Anthony should be able to correct it. There is a big difference between not starting and not making the roster.

  • Travis Diggs

    His spot is slot where it always shoulda been. Him and Lewis will both play Nickel and Dime packages. He aint lose no spot, the coaching staff needs to understand he’s no outside corner, its ok to accept him as a solid slot corner, keep him there

Dallas Cowboys

Jaguars Waive Barry Church; Could Cowboys Bring Him Back?

Jess Haynie

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Barry Church

Veteran safety Barry Church was released today by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Could he return home to the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent his first seven seasons?

Despite his leadership and consistency on defense, Dallas allowed Church to leave in free agency when Jacksonville gave him a lucrative deal. But if he clears waivers, could the Cowboys consider bring him back for depth and support during their likely playoff run?

Jane Slater of the NFL Network reported on this potential reunion:

Jane Slater on Twitter

Cowboys haven't reached out to S Barry Church but I'm told they are discussing the possibility of bringing him back to Dallas according to a source informed. Church, 30, was released by the Jags today and is familiar with the system having played there from 2010-2016.

The Cowboys have had solid play from their current starting safeties, Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. Neither is a star, but the duo has not been a liability during the team's current five-game winning streak.

Church was a similar player, reliable if never exceptional, during his time in Dallas. He could be a nice insurance policy for the playoffs if something happened to one of the starters.

Barry knows the system. He never played for Kris Richard, but he was with Rod Marinelli for three seasons before leaving in free agency.

According to reports out of Jacksonville, Church is being released because the team wants to go with younger, cheaper players now that their season is over. There is no known injury keeping Barry from playing.

Of course, Dallas would have to make room on the roster to pick Church up. They could third-year prospect Darian Thompson, who is the current fourth man at safety.

Barry Church must now go through the 24-hour waiver process. A team may claim him, including the Cowboys. We'll see what the future holds.



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Dallas Cowboys

How the Dallas Cowboys Can Win the NFC East This Week

Jess Haynie

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Jaylon Smith, Eagles

It's only Week 15, but the Dallas Cowboys could become the 2018 NFC East Champions this week through a couple of scenarios. I thought we'd take a moment today to break down how the Boys can win their division and assure their spot in the playoffs.

With three weeks left in the regular season, most of the divisional games have already been played. The only two left to play are the Week 17 finales; Cowboys at Giants and Eagles at Redskins.

Here are the current standings:

  1. Dallas Cowboys 8-5 (4-1 in division)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles 6-7 (3-2 in division)
  3. Washington Redskins 6-7 (2-3 in division)
  4. New York Giants 5-8 (1-4 in division)

The Giants have been scrappy lately, winning four of their last five, but it's too late for them to try to win the division. Even if the Cowboys were to fall to 8-8, the best New York could do is tie them in overall record. They would have also split their head-to-head series, negating that tiebreaker.

At that point, it would come down to the record within the division. New York would improve to 2-4 with a win over Dallas in Week 17, but the Cowboys would still be 4-2 against the NFC East. Dallas would still be the division champion.

So, that knocks out New York. Technically, the Eagles and Redskins are still alive. But their margin is about as slim as it gets.

Both Philadelphia and Washington need the Cowboys to lose their last three games, and then to also win out themselves, to steal the NFC East crown.

Sean's Scout: Cowboys Thankful for Cooper in Division Win Over Redskins

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

For the Redskins, it's about their record against division opponents. The best they can finish is 3-3, assuming they'd win their last game against the Eagles. With the head-to-head series against Dallas split this year, they would have to finish 9-7 overall and have the Cowboys drop to 8-8 to become NFC East Champions.

The Eagles also need to finish one game ahead of Dallas, but for a different reason. Philadelphia lost both their games with the Cowboys this year, so Dallas has the head-to-head tiebreaker.

So that really makes thing simple for Dallas; win just one of your last three games and you're the division champion.

Not only that, but even if Dallas were to fall this week against the Indianapolis Colts, they could still clinch the division with losses by the Eagles (@ Rams) and Redskins (@ Jaguars).

It would certainly behoove the Cowboys to get the division locked up now. They could then use the last two weeks of the season to get ready for the playoffs.

Dallas would have the freedom rest banged up players like Ezekiel Elliott and Zack Martin. It would also allow them to work in returning players such as Sean Lee and Tavon Austin and figure out their new rotations without pressure to win.

Beating the Colts on Sunday isn't a given; they're at home and desperate to stay alive in the AFC playoff picture. They are the toughest opponent Dallas has left until January.

But despite that, with the Eagles facing a juggernaut team and Washington trying to play football without a quarterback, there's a great chance that the Cowboys will be the NFC East Champions by Sunday night.



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#INDvsDAL: How The Game May Be Decided In The Red Zone

Kevin Brady

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Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In many ways the Dallas Cowboys offense has found their stride in recent weeks. Over this five game win streak they have "found their identity" playing ball control offense and trusting their quarterback to make big throws when needed most. Of course the defense has been the star most weeks, but this offense should not be slept on either.

This doesn't mean the offense has been without their fair share of struggles, however, particularly in the red zone. Struggles that the numbers say could cost the Cowboys this weeks' game in Indianapolis if they don't get it cleaned up.

In terms of red zone offensive efficiency the Cowboys have been downright horrendous. In fact, they are dead-last in the league in success rate inside the 10 yard line, last in first-and-goal success rate, and 21st in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

There's no sugar-coating those numbers, they are bad. Especially when you consider that this team has arguably the league's best running back and a quarterback with the size and athleticism you might expect from a linebacker.

For as bad as the Cowboys are inside the red zone, the Colts are equally as good. Indianapolis is top 10 in terms of success rate inside the 10, at the goal line, and in first-and-goal success rate. They are also 11th in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

Despite not having the individual running back the Cowboys have, the Colts offensive line and skill players as a whole set them up a bit better when the field is shortened. Tight end Eric Ebron has been rather incredible in terms of production this season, catching 12 touchdowns on 58 receptions. Andrew Luck is also a more accurate quarterback than Dak Prescott, though Prescott should be a much more dangerous red zone threat than he currently is.

Bob Sturm on Twitter

I am working on the Cowboys 32nd ranked Goal-to-Go offensive numbers. They have run 35 of their 59 total plays out of Shotgun-11 Personnel. In those 35 plays, the average gain per snap is....12 INCHES. I am not kidding. They could out-gain that by running QB sneaks. I am amazed.

Of course, some of the Cowboys red zone struggles can be pinned on offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Linehan has failed to scheme open the "easy" red zone touchdowns we see so often around the league. As pointed out by Bob Sturm on Twitter this week, the Cowboys' personnel groupings and play calls when in goal-to-go situations have been questionable to say the least. But while blame does fall on the coaches' shoulders, the players need to execute better as well.

Games in the NFL often come down to just a handful of plays, and red zone efficiency plays a key role in deciding the outcome of close games every week. If this is once again the case on Sunday, based on past performance, the Dallas Cowboys could be in trouble against the efficient Colts.



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