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.
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.
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.
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.