Opinions may vary, but it looks as if the Dallas Cowboys weakest link on their roster right now is at the safety position. They’ve added some new faces to the mix since the completion of the 2018 season, but other than Xavier Woods no one else really inspires a lot of confidence the position has been upgraded. That’s why Dallas may need to do a little outside of the box thinking.
Enter Chidobe Awuzie.
Awuzie is projected to be the Dallas Cowboys starting cornerback opposite Byron Jones this season, but I think he could be much more than that. I believe he could be the answer to solidifying the Cowboys safety position, and in doing so upgrading the entire secondary.
I know what you’re probably thinking though. If you move Chidobe to safety full-time that creates a void at cornerback. But, with a little outside the box thinking I think it’s not only doable, but could possibly raise the level of the entire Cowboy secondary.
Before you all get your panties in a wad though, let me try to explain.
I’m not really talking about a full-time position to switch for Awuzie. I’d still keep him at left cornerback when the Cowboys are in their base 4-3 defense. But, when they go to the nickel package I’d make him a hybrid CB/S and insert Jourdan Lewis into his vacated spot opposite Byron Jones. That puts Dallas’ best coverage unit on the field when it’s needed the most.
Awuzie is an upgrade over any other safety the Cowboys can pair with Xavier Woods in coverage and is arguably just as good as a tackler. He’s only an inch shorter and about 10 pounds lighter than Jeff Heath, Dallas’ starter the last two seasons. Plus, you’re getting Jourdan Lewis on the field, who I believe is just as good as Chidobe in coverage.
It may surprise you to learn, but Lewis has been every bit as productive as Awuzie in their first two years in the league, despite receiving less playing time. Chidobe has 96 combined tackles, 18 passes defensed, 2 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles in a total of 1,193 defensive snaps in the last two seasons. Compare that to Lewis’ 66 combined tackles, 11 passes defensed, and 2 interceptions in 933 total snaps and you can see the similarity in production.
A difference of 260 more snaps basically resulted in 30 more tackles and seven more passes defensed for Awuzie. So, the Cowboys wouldn’t be losing anything by inserting No. 27 into the lineup while No. 24 plays more of a hybrid safety role. In fact, I think they would be gaining much more. That’s just my opinion.
Unfortunately, this is all speculation based on nothing more than some outside the box thinking on my part. The Cowboys haven’t been working Chidobe Awuzie at safety at all to my knowledge, but it is something I would like to see them do once training camp gets underway here in a few weeks.
I’m a firm believer of getting your best players on the field, and playing No. 24 in a hybrid CB/S role in 2019 allows them to do just that. Now, all we have to do is wait and see if the Dallas Cowboys agree with me or not.