The Dallas Cowboys used not one, not two, not even three, but four draft picks on defensive backs in the 2017 NFL Draft in hopes of overhauling their secondary. The Cowboys secondary was pretty much gutted after the 2016 season, so wasn't that big of a surprise they invested so much draft equity on defensive backs. But, there was no way of knowing if they would be ready to play key roles as rookies.
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how well rookies will respond once they enter into the NFL. Some players just take longer to adjust to the speed of the game, while others are able to start right away.
Due to injuries, the Cowboys secondary didn't really have the luxury of sitting and waiting to see if there rookies were ready or not. They had to insert them into the lineup pretty much right away and hope they were ready. It was pretty much baptism by fire.
Not everything has been sunshine and rainbows for the Cowboy secondary though. But, at least one person has been impressed with the influx of youth on the back end of the defense through the first four weeks of the 2017 season.
Through four games, Jerry Jones is excited about the trio of defensive backs he drafted this past spring. pic.twitter.com/AGcJKzeo1Y
— David Helman (@davidhelman_) October 3, 2017
General manager/owner Jerry Jones seems to be really excited about the future of the Cowboy secondary, and I would have to agree. Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods have already been one of the few bright spots on the Cowboys defense, but a healthy Chidobe Awuzie should only help improve things in the Cowboy secondary.
Awuzie is a versatile player who played every position in the secondary at Colorado. I believe he was going to do the same with the Cowboys, but unfortunately injuries have prevented that from happening. But, it has opened the door for Xavier Woods, and he has stepped up to the challenge.
If you read between the lines in Jerry Jones statement, you might just notice he could be indicating we are going to see a lot more of Xavier Woods in the near future, possibly against Green Bay. Whether that is at cornerback or safety is yet to be determined, but it could possibly mean Jeff Heath is looking at a decrease in playtime.
Jeff Heath hasn't exactly performed very well as a starter so far this season, so the Cowboys could possibly be looking at switching things up in the secondary. Both Xavier Woods and Chidobe Awuzie are likely in the running to challenge Heath for more playing time, but we will have to wait and see how that turns out.
The trio of Awuzie, Lewis, and Woods already look to be starting caliber players and likely the future of the Cowboys secondary. All three had outstanding collegiate careers and so far it's looking as if they are carrying it over at the NFL level.
I don't know about you, but I agree with Jerry Jones. Even though the Cowboys secondary has seen their fair share of bumps and bruises already, I think the future looks bright.