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Sean’s Scout: Kavon Frazier’s Impact Felt Throughout Secondary

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Kavon Frazier's Impact Felt Throughout Secondary

No longer just a special teams ace, Cowboys S Kavon Frazier was on the field for a season high 35% of the team's defensive snaps on Thursday - a big reason why Dallas was able to return to form against Washington and snap a three game losing streak with a 24-point win.

With so many problems elsewhere on this football team, particularly unexpected issues on offense without Ezekiel Elliott, we have not had as much time to study the progression of a secondary that lost two safeties in Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox along with two starting cornerbacks in Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr to free agency.

The Cowboys amassed just 30 sacks last season (already at 25 on 2017), meaning that the varying looks they provided in the back end defensively led to their success on that side of the ball limiting big plays and protecting leads.

It may have taken until week 14, but with Kavon Frazier seeing the field more along with CB Chidobe Awuzie making his first start, the Dallas Cowboys may have found their ideal secondary to make another run this December.

Let's look further at the impact Kavon Frazier made for the Cowboys on Thursday in this Sean's Scout.

Kavon Frazier Vs Redskins - Streamable

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Frazier has excelled in his special teams role thanks to his ability to charge downhill and attack the football fearlessly. Amazingly, putting him either deep at safety or along the line of scrimmage has not affected his ability to play with the same traits and stop running backs in their tracks.

The Cowboys have reportedly been frustrated with the play of Byron Jones, while asking him to play down in the box more. Byron Jones' best spot in this defense is back deep at safety, where he can react to plays in front of him with his range and athleticism.

The Cowboys thought they had their box safety in Xavier Woods, and they just might, but Woods has been asked to drop into coverage a lot with Jeff Heath struggling as the starting safety alongside Jones.

With Frazier emerging as this team's enforcer in the secondary, a role J.J. Wilcox excelled in as the rotational safety last year, Heath's weaknesses can be covered up better as the team sorts out their DIME package - which includes Awuzie as an outside corner.

Jeff Heath Vs Redskins - Streamable

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Watch the coverage develop right in front of Heath on this interception against the Redskins, as Jaylon Smith closes the gap on Jamison Crowder with the ball going into the arms of Heath.

Kavon Frazier Vs Redskins - Streamable

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With things falling into place nicely in the Cowboys' new-look secondary, this next play shows Frazier read the blocks in front of him to rally to the ball and make yet another stop. That is rookie Xavier Woods along the line of scrimmage holding the edge against the block of the tight end, allowing Dallas to not be outnumbered on the toss to the outside.

Kavon Frazier Vs Falcons - Streamable

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Going back to week 10 in Atlanta, this is also a role #35 Kavon Frazier can handle as a down-the-line player. Translating his instinctive ability down to the second level comes pretty naturally for Frazier, who plays with great balance and burst to finish in the hole.

The Cowboys will welcome back their defensive leader in LB Sean Lee this week, right in time to face a depleted New York Giants offense. The second-to-last game they'll play offensively without Zeke in the backfield, the Cowboys could be the expected force to be reckoned with this December despite all they've had to overcome.

Turning over nearly an entire secondary in a season is no easy task for a team that seemed primed to make a Super Bowl run, but with an abundance of young talent these players have been allowed to play to their strengths in an ideal scheme.

Look no further than S Kavon Frazier for a great example of this currently on the 2017 Dallas Cowboys.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Kavon Frazier’s Impact Felt Throughout 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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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Russ_Te

    December 9, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Frazier showed last week he is turning a corner from being just a special teams guy. While we don’t know his entire upside, we do know there is a lot of it at SS relative to what Heath gives. Heath should sit now on early downs and Frazier should get his chance as starter.

    While there are always change-ups and coverage rotation, Wood’s best future will not be around the box IMO but at FS due to his size. The guy is a playmaker and this unit will need tons of downs from him next year. Don’t let the OL’s and TE’s grind him down and out.

    That puts Jones at CB with Awuzie. Like with Frazier, let’s get a look at it.

    • Sean Martin

      Sean Martin

      December 9, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Well said, Russ, and thank you as always for reading. I agree with how the team should use Woods, even if it means moving Byron back to CB. Could be good for both of them.

      • Russ_Te

        December 10, 2017 at 1:57 am

        As you mentioned Frazier can key a lot of it. If he can show better than Heath, it’s pretty much his job unless an unexpected prospect is signed next year. That should lock Woods in at FS. I just hope the rookies can stay healthy now so the team can really find out what it has in the secondary prior to 2018.

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Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw

Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.

The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.

The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.

But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.

Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.

It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.

Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.



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BREAKING: WR Terrance Williams Gets Dropped by Dallas Cowboys

Jess Haynie

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Takeaway Tuesday: What We Learned From Cowboys Loss To Packers
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The Dallas Cowboys have ended their six-year relationship with Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. According to multiple sources, they have declined a team option on Williams' contract and he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

The move will reportedly save the Cowboys $2.25 million in salary space this year.

Williams was the team's third-round pick in 2013 and started 68 of the 83 games he played in. He developed into a solid number-two receiver by the end of his rookie deal in 2016 and was given a new four-year contract that offseason.

David Moore on Twitter

Terrance Williams career w/ the Cowboys is done. Sources say the club has declined the WR's option for 2019, making him a free agent. The move is no surprise. He caught just 2 passes for 18 yards last season. His departure frees up $2.25 million on the cap.

After another decent year in 2017, things took a bad turn for Terrance last season. It started with an offseason arrest for public intoxication that eventually led to a three-game suspension, although Williams served that while on injured reserve.

The Cowboys already appeared to be giving Williams' spot away when they made several offseason acquisitions at WR; Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin all were brought in even before Terrance's arrest.

While Williams did start in two of Dallas' first three games in 2018, he only had three passes his thrown his way. The team finally put him on IR due to ongoing complications with a surgically-repaired foot.

While it didn't end well, Terrance Williams' time in Dallas was ultimately a solid return for a third-round pick. He made a few big plays and was a proficient run-blocker, good enough to start in almost 75% of the team's games since he was drafted.

The Cowboys now hope that another third-round pick, Michael Gallup in 2018, will do bigger and better things.



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A Lot Had to Happen for Amari Cooper to Join the Cowboys

John Williams

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Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper was a game changing player from the moment he showed up at The Star in Frisco, Texas. In the first game against the Tennessee Titans, you could just tell that this was a different kind of player. The Cowboys hadn't had a wide receiver with his mixture of size and skill.

Cooper to me showed off the brilliant route running of Cole Beasley, in a body similar to Dez Bryant. Oh, and with 4.4 speed.

Electric.

But Amari Cooper's presence with the Dallas Cowboys may not have happened in 2018 if any one of a number of dominoes didn't fall during the 2018 offseason and regular season.

Shunned by Sammy

Early in the free agency period, it was reported that the Dallas Cowboys had brought in Sammy Watkins and made him a lucrative offer that would have paid him around $16 million per year, but as Patrik Walker from 247 Sports discussed, he ultimately signed with the Kansas City Chiefs for more guaranteed money.

I recall first the feeling of dread when I heard about the pursuit of Sammy Watkins, immediately followed by relief when I saw that he signed with the Chiefs. I was in the midst of a government mandated internet blackout.

Don't get me wrong, Sammy Watkins is a fine player, but he isn't a $16 million per year player. Aside from his athleticism and size he doesn't really bring much to the table. He was pretty much a younger, and similarly injury prone -- at their respective points in their careers -- as Dez Bryant.

In 2018, Watkins only played in 10 games for the Chiefs and barely passed the 500 yard mark while catching only three touchdowns. Now, he's not the top priority in the Chiefs passing game, but he's not a player that can be relied upon to lead an offense.

Had the Cowboys signed Watkins last offseason, it's highly unlikely that they would have traded a 2019 first round draft pick to add another wide receiver in Amari Cooper.

Dez Bryant Goes Bye-Bye

The next thing that happened that may not have, was the release of long-time Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant. Dez Bryant had been with the team since 2010, when the team made him their first round pick that season. After post really good numbers from 2012-2014, Dez had a drop off in production, mostly due to injuries in the 2015-2017 seasons.

Dez Bryant, a fan favorite, was a player that relied upon his superior athletic ability, physicality, toughness, and ability to get passes in the air that made him special. Injuries to his legs and feet started to rob him of his athletic ability. Combine that with the fact that he and Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott could never really get on the same page when it came to fade routes, traditional or of the back shoulder variety.

Had the Cowboys not made the decision to move on from Bryant, the Cowboys offense would have probably been better the first seven games of the season. They may not have necessitated allocating a first round pick to acquire Cooper and it's possible he gets traded somewhere else or stays in Oakland altogether.

Poor Starts to the Season

The Oakland Raiders went into the 2018 season having made a lot of noise by signing Jon Gruden out of the broadcast booth and trading Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. After a 1-5 start to their season, the fire sale continued as they put Amari Cooper on the trade block.

The Dallas Cowboys started the season 3-4, but looked much worse on offense than what we could have anticipated. We knew they would take a bit of a step back in the passing game as they were trying to work in new faces, but it was bad for the first seven, and really eight weeks of the season.

The Cowboys went into the season with a plan to use their wide receiver group as a committee to try and fill their needs with several players of varying skill sets. Sounds good in theory, but in practice it was a debacle. Receivers not named Cole Beasley, struggled to get open and the offense was listless through the first two months of the season.

Had either team been better than they were to start the season, the chance of a trade taking place would have been small. Teams like to think they can get by with what they have. Had the Cowboys been 4-3 instead of 3-4, they may have thought they could get by with Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, and Michael Gallup as their lead receivers.

Trade Compensation

It was rumored that prior to the Dallas Cowboys sending their 2019 first round pick to the Oakland Raiders that the Philadelphia Eagles offered a second. The Raiders, who were looking to stock pile picks to rebuild, held out for the first they desired for their former 2x Pro Bowler.

Had the Raiders took the Eagles offer as the best offer on the table at the time, the Cowboys would have missed out on Cooper and likely missed out on the division and the playoffs in 2018. On the flip side, we know how much the Cowboys value their draft picks. We've seen them pass on game changing player who would have cost much less because they value their draft picks and believe in their ability to find difference makers in any round.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Dallas Cowboys were really fortunate to end up with Amari Cooper. If any of the above things goes differently, it's extremely unlikely that he's wearing a Cowboys uniform in 2018 at all. Now, coming off a 1,000 yard season -- in only 15 games -- and a Pro Bowl appearance, Cooper is set to get paid some big money by the Dallas Cowboys front office. As they get ready to pay Cooper upwards of $16 million a year or more, they should have only one thought on their mind for the good fortune that brought Cooper to Dallas;

Thankfulness. 



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