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Where Does CB Jourdan Lewis Fit In A Kris Richard Secondary?

Kevin Brady



Ranking The Dallas Cowboys Rookies Through Week 8
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Much has been made over the last year about the Cowboys revamped secondary. As you probably know by now, Dallas let multiple veteran contributors walk in free agency prior to the 2017 season in favor of youthful cornerbacks and safeties.

The results through one season have been mixed, though there is a lot of reason for excitement about this rebuilt unit.

One of the major reasons fans felt excited after the 2017 season was due to third round cornerback Jourdan Lewis. The former Michigan corner was arguably the most consistent of the three rookie defensive backs who saw significant action, functioning primarily as an outside cornerback.

Lewis had his growing pains as all rookies do, but he and Chidobe Awuzie brought an attitude to the Cowboys' back-end which they haven't had in a very long time.

Things have changed a bit in the past few months, however. The hiring of former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard as well as the full time position switch for now cornerback Byron Jones points towards a different direction in the Cowboys secondary. One which emphasizes height, length, and physicality in their cornerbacks.

At just 5'10" 195 pounds, it's easy to see why some are worried that Jourdan Lewis will get lost in the shuffle a bit this season. Awuzie and Jones are now the assumed starting outside cornerbacks, and at 6'0" you can see how each fits the "Legion of Boom" prototype.

Conventional wisdom would say that Jourdan Lewis should be a slot cornerback in the NFL. But his coverage abilities and film thus far suggest that Lewis is better suited to play on the outside than he is in the slot.

In fact, it may be the taller Byron Jones which fits better in the slot than Lewis. According to Pro Football Focus, Byron Jones was a top eight slot cornerback in the entire NFL a season ago.

PFF DAL Cowboys on Twitter

Byron Jones is one the top eight slot cornerbacks heading into the 2018 season! #CowboysNation

How much does this really matter?

Well, according to's Bryan Broaddus it probably won't matter at all. Broaddus wrote that Lewis "will be apart of this rotation one way or another," and added that he's off to a great start with OTAs.

Basically, while Kris Richard may have his "type" of cornerback, Jourdan Lewis is simply too good and too competitive to allow himself to fall out of this lineup. Though he excelled as an outside cornerback at Michigan and during much of his rookie season, Lewis may find his home in the slot here with the Cowboys going forward.

Regardless a cornerback trio of Chidobe Awuzie, Byron Jones, and Jourdan Lewis is one that can become dangerous for opposing offenses. And having too many good cover corners is a great problem for a team to have.

Jourdan Lewis had an impressive rookie season in 2017, and there's no reason to think he can't build on that heading into his sophomore campaign.

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

  • Gbear

    Richard was fired for a reason. What’s the first thing he does? Puts one guy in a position he’s not best suited for and removes the one suited for it and places him in a slot he’s not best suited for and too stubborn to change because he just wants it that way. He was a puppet of his HC in Seattle, it’s not Richard’s system, he just brought it with him. Maybe, he’s been promoted beyond his level of competency. The way he gets on the field and runs around isn’t something an eventual coordinator or HC would ever have time to do. That tells me he’s an action teacher, he can only work within what the system already has, he can’t innovate. As long as he’s not promoted to DC or even HC, he’ll be okay, that’s why he’s not still Seattle’s DC.

  • gregoryambus

    Anthony Brown is better than both Lewis and Awuzie. He had two interceptions in 2017 after getting reduced playing time, and one interception in 2016 only playing half the season. Shouldn’t be playing Lewis and Awuzie just because they were higher draft picks. If their better than Brown, make them earn it. So far, they don’t show it, play Brown more, Cowboys will be better for it.

  • Gbear

    Never said Richard isn’t capable where he is now but expecting him to be good enough for DC or eventual HC requires a greater body of work, personally I hope he does great, certainly willing to give him a chance but he has to earn it. I don’t any more know why he was fired than I do why garrett still has a job. Richard played for Carroll while still at USC and got his coaching start with him at Seattle. Regardless of my opinion I hope the boys win it all but it’s hard to get excited about a garrett led team, been there, saw that. A team needs a good coach to advance, unfortunately we don’t have one, Jones knows it but he controls the strings, so, he’s okay with it. Just stay relevant, that’s all Jones cares about, money and recognition. garrett knows how to run a practice, he learned that from his daddy, he hasn’t learned anything sense. I had hoped he would become more instinctual but I’m afraid it doesn’t appear it can be learned at this stage of his development.

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      Point well-taken my fellow fan
      It’s just you made an analogy of sorts about cleats, sweating, etc & his coaching style in comparison to a DC/HC
      I thought you were casting shade at Richard
      HC J Garrett, by your last reply, has been hamstrung by owner Jerry Jones
      Based on this assessment, & I agree as well, it’s not coaching, it’s top brass handicapping the coaching staff
      This, it’s it Garrett’s fault for remaining as HC
      I feel they all have learned much valuable yet embarrassing

Dallas Cowboys

Todd Gurley Leaps Ezekiel Elliott on NFL Rushing Leaderboard

Jess Haynie



Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley

After several weeks as the NFL's rushing leader, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been bumped to second place. With a 208-yard explosion last week against the Broncos, Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams has leaped Zeke on the leaderboard.

Elliott was no slouch himself in Week 6, putting up 106 yards on the vaunted Jaguars defense. But Gurley nearly doubled that in Denver, and now leads Zeke by 37 yards.

Here are the current NFL rushing leaders, :

  1. Todd Gurley, Rams - 623 yards
  2. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys - 586 yards
  3. Melvin Gordon, Chargers - 466 yards
  4. Kareem Hunt, Chiefs - 456 yards
  5. James Conner, Steelers - 453 yards
  6. Saquon Barkley, Giants - yards
  7. Matt Breida, 49ers - 430 yards
  8. Isaiah Crowell, Jets - 430 yards
  9. Sony Michel, Patriots - 400 yards

It's still early in 2018, but it's already starting to look like a two-horse race for the rushing title. And it's no surprise that those two would be Elliott and Gurley.

Last year, Zeke and Todd were the top two in the NFL for yards-per-game. Gurley missed one game that year and finished second in total yards behind Kareem Hunt. Elliott was held back by his suspension.

Week 7 could allow Elliott to retake the lead. He'll see a Washington defense that he ran for 150 yards on last season in a single game. However, they are currently sixth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed.

Gurley gets a slightly softer opponent in the 49ers defense, who are just 13th in run defense. Both games will be on the road.

While these stats certainly aren't as important as wins and losses, they do matter to the players. Rushing titles come back into the conversation when Hall of Fame credentials are being considered.

If things stay at their current pace for Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley, we may be tracking this race all the way through the end of the regular season.

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Player News

Michael Gallup Showing Signs of a Breakout

John Williams



Cowboys Roster: Dallas Made Right Decisions on Unproven Skill Players

We're only six games into the career of Rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup who was selected 81st overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft. It's been a slow start to his career, mostly because of usage. On Sunday, he took a step toward what many thought he could be for the Cowboys when he was drafted; Wide receiver one.

The numbers, one reception on two targets for 27 yards, may not indicate a breakout is coming, but if you look at the two targets he saw and the quality of the corner he faced, they're more impressive.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

Look at this catch by #Cowboys rookie WR Michael Gallup

On the Dallas Cowboys first drive of the day, Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott looked Michael Gallup's way down the left sideline and hit him on a nice back shoulder fade that looked an awful lot like a Dez Bryant-like contested catch. It was a key play on 3rd-and-9 to get the Dallas Cowboys into Jacksonville territory on a drive that led to a Brett Maher field goal and a 3-0 lead.

Later in the game with the Cowboys driving to score a touchdown, Gallup made a tremendous catch when he got perfect depth behind All-Pro Corner Back A.J. Bouye and in front of the safety help. It looked to be an impressive touchdown catch just inside the end zone, but was overturned on replay. On review, Gallup wasn't able to get his second foot down after he made contact with the defender. Though the touchdown didn't stand, it was an impressive effort for Michael Gallup.

Jordan Schultz on Twitter

Michael Gallup with a near circus catch to ALMOST haul in his first NFL TD. Ruled incomplete. #cowboys #jags @CSUFootball

Michael Gallup led the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver group in snaps (81% of the offensive snaps) on Sunday, and according to Mike Clay from ESPN, he led the Dallas Cowboys in routes run as well. Both of Gallup's targets came against Bouye, showing an ability to beat one of the best corners in the NFL.

Mike Clay on Twitter

Michael Gallup paced the Cowboys in pass routes (25) for the first time in his career on Sunday.

As Michael Gallup sees more opportunities to play, his opportunities to make plays are going to continue to grow. With news coming down that Tavon Austin is unlikely to play for several weeks because of a groin injury, more snaps are opening up at the wide receiver position. Tavon played 18 snaps before getting injured on Sunday, so there will be increased opportunities for Gallup moving forward.

Gallup's only seen about 3 targets a game, but with the increased snaps he saw in week six and the potential for even more with Austin coming, the opportunities should grow. As he continues to come down with impressive catches like he did on Sunday (even if only one of them counted), it's going to increase Dak Prescott's and the coaching staff's level of trust in the rookie.

It's safe to say that more big time catches are coming for Michael Gallup and a breakout is coming sooner than later.

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Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Cole Beasley is Your Interim WR1

Mauricio Rodriguez



As Preseason Begins, Does Prescott Have a "Go-To" Receiver After All?

Watching the Dallas Cowboys beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 40-7 was undoubtedly fun for Cowboys Nation. There were not many positive expectations for the Cowboys heading into this game but both the defense and offense put on impressive performances at home in an attempt to remain serious contenders within the NFC East.

We learned a few things about the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday as they beat one of the top defenses in the NFL. Let's talk about in this week's edition of Takeaway Tuesday!

Cole Beasley Is Your Interim WR1

The Cowboys have yet to find their #1 wide receiver, but Cole Beasley is making a serious statement looking like the most reliable target in Dallas. Being 5'8 and a slot receiver doesn't really help Beasley's case to be the #1 guy, but he's making plays.

Last Sunday, he was the only wide receiver on the team with more than one catch. The other player with more than one reception was Geoff Swaim, who only got his hands on the ball twice. Beasley finished the day with nine receptions for 101 yards and two touchdown catches. The Cowboys need other WRs to step up but in the meantime, let Beasley put the sauce on opposing defenses. Hopefully he continues to hurt defenses like he did versus the Jaguars' feared secondary.

The team still needs a guy who can be a consistent threat on the outside, though. Third-round rookie Michael Gallup could develop into that, but he isn't there yet. We'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, it's all Beasley.

Bright Future for the Defensive Line

Blake Bortles was sacked three times by the so-called "Hot Boyz" last weekend. To be quite honest, the future for this defensive line looks brightest than it ever has. The return of Maliek Collins and David Irving to the field were desperately needed for this defense to take the next step. Collins and Irving were somewhat limited, but their snap counts will surely increase as the season continues.

John Owning on Twitter

A lot of little details went into this sack from Maliek Collins. From his alignment pre-snap to his timing on the spin, it was a beautiful display of rushing the passer by @SavageSevv.

Randy Gregory also got limited snaps versus the Jaguars, but he was able to make an impact either way. He finished the day with one sack, two hits and one QB hurry. I can't wait until these guys' snaps increase. This should be a very scary unit for opposing quarterbacks.

Dak Prescott's Stats Don't Reflect His Performance

The Jaguars are the best defense this team has faced and yet it's been the offense's best performance. Dak Prescott's passing stats may not look great, but his play was. Even though he failed to cross the 200 yard mark on the air, he rushed for 82 yards and kept Jacksonville's defense honest. Dak has faced a lot of criticism this year and will likely continue to do so.

Even still, we've seen him ball out on various occasions now. Dak can play. He may not be an elite passer, in fact he's far from being that, but he can make this offense work if they play to his strengths.

We've heard players talk about "turning the corner" in Dallas. Cowboys Nation should hope that is the case. What's more frustrating than watching an offense being unable to move the chains and score touchdowns, is knowing they could do it with a better execution and play-calling. Thanks to players like Dak, Ezekiel Elliott and Cole Beasley, there's a silver lining for the Cowboys' offense.

Report: Jason Garrett "Not Going Anywhere" with Possible Extension Coming Soon

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, HC Jason Garrett

Inconsistency is the Problem for Cowboys

Simply put, this is not the team we had witnessed in the first five weeks of the season. Even in the two prior wins this year, the Dallas Cowboys had not looked dominant at all. Specifically the offense. They hadn't faced a defense as tough as the Jaguars', but they were able to drop 40 on them. Now granted, they did it with the help of the defense, but still. We hadn't seen this version of the Cowboys.

Even with a 40-7 win over the Jaguars, it is tough to imagine Dallas will keep this up as the season continues. Hopefully, they do and I'm wrong about this. They need to be more consistent if they want to end up surprising the NFC East and walk away with the division title.

Although they got the big win, they still left points on the field and fail to execute for touchdowns in the second half. Even when the defense forced turnovers. In close games, this cost you wins in the NFL. The Cowboys can't afford to lose many more games, even in a weak division.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Cole Beasley is Your Interim WR1" 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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