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Rookie CB Marquez White Could Have Bigger Role Than Expected

Sean Martin

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Rookie CB Marquez White Could Have Bigger Role Than Expected

As we count down the final two slow weeks before Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California, a great way to pass the time is to project who will actually make this Cowboys team out of camp.

An incredibly competitive roster that added - based on my pre-draft assessments - at least five rookie starters, playing time could be at a premium especially on the defensive side of the ball and in the secondary. Second round pick Chidobe Awuzie and third round selection Jourdan Lewis are expected to turn over a depth chart at cornerback that also features Anthony Brown, Orlando Scandrick, free-agent acquisition Nolan Carroll, and forgotten rookie Marquez White.

White, drafted in the sixth round with the 216th overall pick out of Florida State, may be facing an uphill battle to earn snaps at CB just because of his draft position, but his size and traits lend themselves to White quickly bursting onto the scene.

The Cowboys likely still want to see their 60th overall pick in Awuzie work out as a corner, but he does come to Dallas with experience at safety - and has flashed potential as a safety next to Byron Jones through OTAs and minicamp.

Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys defense expects to be playing from ahead plenty this season. Dallas' scheme is designed defensively to protect leads, which allows their cornerbacks to play off in coverage and keep throws in front of them.

This is where Marquez White could thrive, especially with athletes like Jones, Awuzie, and Jeff Heath behind him.

Asked to play as a physical boundary cornerback as well as a slot player and free safety at times, White can be difficult to separate from as he can flip his hips and mirror receivers – keeping them at bay with his 32 1/8″ arms.

White’s pure ball skills when turned around may be limited, but he excels at sticking to his man in coverage and forcing quarterbacks to throw elsewhere.

Rookie CB Marquez White Could Have Bigger Role Than Expected 1

This quote comes from my complete Marquez White scouting report, and although expecting White to impress instantly as a boundary CB is a bit of a projection thanks to his experience in mostly press coverage, it is one that we could see very soon.

White emerging as a starting-caliber CB has even been looked at negatively by some in Cowboys Nation, assuming it means that Awuzie or Lewis struggles, Brown takes a step back, or the Carroll signing becomes unnecessary.

The Cowboys will live in their Nickel defense once again in 2017 though, meaning there will be additional chances for White to see the field depending on which CBs kick inside, and even more opportunities will come White's way in a Dime package that suddenly has waves of talented personnel to be deployed for Dallas.

Rookie Marquez White was drafted for his traits as a developmental sixth round cornerback that fits the Cowboys' scheme, but I believe his scheme fit will be better than anyone could have projected after the team already drafted two CBs well before him.

After losing consistent starters at both CB and S to free agency, a welcome infusion of young talent has arrived to the Cowboys' secondary. They'll need as many viable defensive backs in coverage as possible to contend with these rookies in 2017, and Marquez White will put his name into this mix for the better very soon.

Tell us what you think about "Rookie CB Marquez White Could Have Bigger Role Than Expected" 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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4 Comments
  • Emilio Gonzalez

    I think he might be a sleeper of this draft and yes he would have a bigger role on the Cowboys secondary don’t count him out. Thanks

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      Thank you for reading!

  • Don

    With all the talk about defense and where their strengths will be I feel all eyes will be or mine anyway on the secondary. DE is a hot spot too but feel we are going to be better there than most think. I really don’t get hyped until after the preseason and the real deal starts.

  • John Williams

    I really like what they did in drafting him in the 6th. Could be another steal of a corner there.

    I love the defensive back group that they are able to deploy going into the season.

    They can play nickel, dime, quarter with very little difficulty with the DB group they can throw out there.

    There are a ton of pretty good to really good passing teams on their schedule, so it will be all hands on deck this year.

    In a 4-2-5 nickel formation, I could see them playing Heath or Byron next to Lee to cover the Tight end. Awuzie at Safety next to Heath or Byron and Carroll, Scan, and Brown as the Corners with Lewis rotating in to spell the aging Scandrick.

    In a 4-1-6 dime package I could see Awuzie and Heath rotating at Safety with Carroll, Scan, Lewis, and Brown as the Corners. Awuzie could also rotate in the slot with Scan and Lewis.

    In a 3-2-6 Dime Package (which they went to a ton last season), again I could see Heath or Byron moving down to play alongside Lee and Awuzie going to safety. The corners would then be Carroll, Scan, Lewis, Brown and White could mix in there as well.

    If the team decides to go 3-1-7, they have so many potential combinations.

    I’m definitely curious to see what White does in training camp. It’s possible, though unlikely that the rookies could push Carroll off the roster if they perform well. Scandrick and Brown offer enough of a veteran presence to allow the rookies to get snaps and grow. But because the base defense is the nickel and the team has high aspirations this season, I think it’s more likely that Lewis and Awuzie get rotational snaps this year and then become full time players in 2018.

Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Jaguars

El mejor juego de los Dallas Cowboys en 2018 vino la semana pasada, cuando recibieron a los Jacksonville Jaguars y los vencieron 40-7. Un resultado que tomó a todos por sorpresa demostró la mejor cara en el año de este equipo que apenas tiene un récord de 3-3.

Por más dominantes que se vieron en el emparrillado el domingo pasado, esa actuación no termina de reflejar lo que realmente son los Cowboys. Son un equipo con potencial en la ofensiva y con una defensiva bastante fuerte, pero ¿pueden ganar constantemente como lo hicieron contra Jaguars?

De entrada, la respuesta a esta pregunta parece ser no. Aún en esa victoria, se vieron problemas evidentes en la ofensiva. Para empezar, la falta de ejecución en la segunda mitad en series ofensivas que incluso llegaron a iniciar en territorio enemigo. De gol de campo en gol de campo se juntan puntos, sin duda, pero en partidos cerrados eso termina costando victorias. Hace falta que Dak Prescott y compañía puedan mover el balón una vez en rango de gol de campo y convertir esas oportunidades a touchdowns.

Otra preocupación que no podemos subestimar es que el juego aéreo sigue sin funcionar apropiadamente. Cole Beasley dominó con nueve atrapadas para 101 yardas y dos touchdowns, pero el resto de los receptores se fueron sin  más de una recepción por cabeza. El único jugador que logró más de una fue el TE Geoff Swaim, quien se llevo dos en todo el juego.

Si bien Beasley tuvo uno de los mejores juegos en su carrera, más receptores tienen que involucrarse para llevar la ofensiva al siguiente nivel. La buena noticia es que en esta ocasión se enfrentaron contra una de las mejores secundarias en la NFL. Los números son malos, pero tienen la oportunidad de demostrar mucho más contra otras defensivas.

Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que repartir más la bola y seguir buscando maneras creativas de utilizar a su RB Ezekiel Elliott. Pases pantallas en tercera y largo no es ser creativo. Lo vemos funcionar dos o tres veces al año pero mandan esta jugada semanalmente. En cuanto a Dak Prescott, hay mucho donde mejorar. Deberíamos estar viendo pases más arriesgados, al centro del campo y mucho mejor posicionados.

Sean's Scout: Measuring Randy Gregory's Potential Impact on Cowboys Defense

Para la defensiva, las cosas se ven muy bien. Puede que veamos la mejor versión de esta unidad esta semana, cuando viajen a Washington. Maliek Collins, Sean Lee, David Irving, y Randy Gregory estarán jugando mucho más sanos y preparados. Este es un frente defensivo lleno de talento que intimidará constantemente a Alex Smith este domingo.

A pesar de que los Redskins no tienen una ofensiva muy explosiva, el área de oportunidad principal para la defensiva de Cowboys está en la profundidad defensiva. Tanto Jeff Heath como Xavier Woods han hecho un trabajo decente, pero tienen sus momentos en los que no logran asegurar una tackleada y permiten jugadas largas.

Hace unos meses no esperábamos que fuera la defensiva y no la ofensiva la que cargaría a este equipo a muchas victorias, pero ese ha sido el caso en las tres victorias de esta temporada. Y en las tres derrotas, la defensiva fue la que mantuvo a los Cowboys en el juego.

Sin duda alguna, lo que tiene que mejorar es la ofensiva. Los receptores tienen que desmarcarse, Prescott debe ser más preciso y tener una mejor conciencia en la bolsa de protección.

Pero sobre todo, es la inconsistencia del equipo. Esto se comienza a sentir como la temporada del año pasado, cuando los Cowboys se fueron 9-7 y nunca terminaron de establecerse como contendientes a los playoffs. Aún en una NFC East donde todos los equipos tienen récords similares y débiles, no pueden continuar perdiendo una semana y  ganando a la otra.

Ganarle a los Redskins sería la primera victoria de Dallas jugando de visita. También sería la primera vez en el año en la que tendrían victorias consecutivas. Por esto y muchas otras razones, incluyendo el potencial liderato de la división, este juego es de suma importancia.

Si ganan, podría ser el momento en el que los Cowboys terminen de darle la vuelta a la página y si pierden, podría ser un indicador de que esta temporada será igual que la del 2017.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?

Brian Martin

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Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off arguably their best and most complete offensive performance of the season after playing the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but there is still quite a bit of improvement that can be made. The need to get more playmakers involved is apparent, which is why I think it's time to utilize Fullback Jamize Olawale's unique skill set.

I know many of you will argue that getting Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup going is a higher priority, and you wouldn't be wrong, but Jamize Olawale's playmaking ability could be a huge asset for Quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense. I know it sounds a little strange, but hang in there with me for little bit.

As things stand right now, Olawale has only played 38 offensive snaps (10%) in 2018. That's the exact amount of offensive plays Wide Receiver Terrance Williams has played this year and he's missed the majority of the season. It's not exactly the kind of production I was expecting when the Cowboys decided to bring him aboard via trade with the Oakland Raiders earlier this offseason.

I don't know about you, but I was expecting Olawale to be more involved in the offensive game plan. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and isn't too shabby as a runner either. But, we haven't seen him utilized in either fashion this season and I think that's an injustice that needs to be corrected.

Now, I fully understand there are other offensive weapons ahead of him in the pecking order who need to see more targets, but I also really think he can make a difference maker, especially in the passing game. That is where his strengths lie, not as a lead blocking fullback.

Jamize Olawale

Dallas Cowboys FB Jamize Olawale

Olawale was a bit of a Swiss Army knife during his time with the Oakland Raiders. He played a little running back, fullback, tight end, and even a little slot receiver. I really thought the Cowboys would take advantage of his versatility in the passing game, but as of yet they have failed to do so.

I'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan utilize Jamize Olawale's unique playmaking ability a little bit more on offense. I think they should try to utilize him like the San Francisco 49ers use their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He's much more involved and has played a total of 263 offensive snaps (63.68%) this year.

Juszczyk is a better lead blocking FB then Olawale, but that's not where he makes the most difference in the 49ers offense. He does it as a receiver and has already caught 17 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. That's some pretty solid production from a position that is being phased out in the NFL.

Now, just imagine the Cowboys offense getting similar production from Olawale and how that would help open up things for everybody else. It's not out of the realm of possibility because the 49ers offense and the Cowboys isn't all that dissimilar.

Unfortunately, I think Jamize Olawale is pretty much an afterthought in the Cowboys offense right now. It's truly unfortunate because I think he can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. And with a division foe like the Washington Redskins next on the schedule, what better time to unleash a new and unseen element of the offense?

Do you think Jamize Olawale needs to be more involved offensively?



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Cole Beasley Key to Cowboys Passing Game Productivity?

Brian Martin

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Jaguars 1

What most of us already knew was confirmed last Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is the Dallas Cowboys best receiver and is the key to the passing game productivity. He is not only the most productive, but the most consistent.

Cole Beasley isn't the tallest or the fastest and definitely doesn't look like a prototypical NFL receiver, but he showed last week against the Jaguars why opposing defenses have to account for him on every single play. He torched Jacksonville's top-ranked passing defense for 101 yards on nine catches and added two touchdowns, and it's that production that could help open up the entire passing game for the Cowboys.

It's painfully obvious Cole Beasley has been Dak Prescott's favorite target in the passing game since he took over the starting duties in 2016. Once opposing defenses figured that out they started to make things extremely difficult by bracketing Beasley in coverage and the passing game hasn't been the same since. But, that could be changing if the Jaguars game was an indication of what we might see moving forward.

Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan did a much better job of moving Beasley around to create favorable matchups against the Jaguars. I think we will see much more of that moving forward, but that likely means opposing defenses will once again try to take away Prescott's favorite target. That actually could end up helping the Cowboys passing game though.

Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

If opposing defenses indeed try to contain Cole Beasley like they've done in the past, it should help provide more opportunities for Dallas' other pass catchers. Spreading the ball around to several different receivers would not only help Prescott and the passing game, but also open up the entire offense.

We haven't really seen much of Allen Hurns or Michael Gallup this season, but both are more than capable of being more productive if they are seeing single coverage more often. That's what's likely to happen if defenses bracket Beasley in coverage once again. Both WRs need to be more involved anyway and Beasley's recent spike in production could help do just that.

Now, if defenses decide to try and cover Beasley one-on-one like the Jaguars did quite a bit of last Sunday, the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of that mismatch. He simply can't be covered by a single defensive back because of his precise route running ability. He is that good.

Regardless of how opposing defenses try to handle/contain Cole Beasley, he is without a doubt key to the Dallas Cowboys passing game productivity. Just the threat of him on the field changes a defenses approach, which is why he is Dallas' #1  WR in my book. He absolutely has to be more involved moving forward, even if it is as a decoy.

Do you think Cole Beasley is the key to the Cowboys passing game productivity?



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