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Will Chidobe Awuzie’s Return Benefit The Cowboys Defense?

Brian Martin

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Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys Defense?
(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Word surfaced on Monday that the Dallas Cowboys 2017 second-round draft pick Chidobe Awuzie is expected to practice this week and possibly play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. This is great news considering the rookie defensive back has missed the last five out of six games, but will his return benefit the Cowboys defense?

It's no secret Chidobe Awuzie has been dealing with a hamstring injury this season and it has caused him to miss games. Cowboys Nation knows all too well how the dreaded h-word tends to strike Cowboys players and how it always seems to linger throughout the season. This has definitely been the case for Awuzie so far, but if healthy he could possibly make an immediate impact.

The Dallas Cowboys spent a second-round pick on him in the 2017 NFL Draft for a reason. Chidobe Awuzie was expected to come in and contribute right away after the Cowboys pretty much cleaned house in their secondary. Injuries have unfortunately kept that from happening, but the wait might finally be over. The defense could certainly use his unique skill set.

You may have forgotten, but Chidobe Awuzie is a versatile defensive back who the Cowboys were really looking forward to inserting into their secondary. They obviously had a plan to use that versatility to their advantage and to utilize his unique skill set much like his college coaching staff did during his time at Colorado.

CB Chidobe Awuzie

Dallas Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie

While at Colorado, Awuzie played nearly every position in the secondary. Not only did he play nearly every position, but he excelled, especially as a blitzer. His size, speed, and footwork would allow him to play anywhere in the Cowboys secondary as well. Whether it is at safety or cornerback, it doesn't really matter. He would likely be an immediate upgrade.

Now, with the way the Dallas Cowboys defense has continued to improve week after week, I don't really know where Awuzie fits in right now. I kind of doubt the Cowboys coaching staff wants to make any changes with the way the defense is performing right now, but it's good to have Chidobe in their back pocket.

Injuries have already hit the cornerback position pretty hard this season. In fact, Anthony Brown is the only CB who contributes on a regular basis not to sustain an injury. Let's just hope that doesn't change anytime soon (knock on wood). So, it's good to have a player as talented as Chidobe in the fold once again.

I personally wouldn't be surprised if the Dallas Cowboys had a specific role in mind for Chidobe Awuzie when he returns to the field. His versatility and athleticism could allow Rod Marinelli to really get creative with coverages, and I believe that will benefit the entire Cowboys defense. But, what that role may be is still a mystery…

Regardless of what kind of defensive role #33 has going forward, it is definitely great news to have back in the mix of things for the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Chidobe Awuzie's return will benefit the defense?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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10 Comments
  • Ernest D. Hollins

    If they use him wisely. Only in certain packages right now. Hope he stays healthy.

    • Brian Martin

      I completely agree with you Ernest. They need to work him back slowly and probably only in certain situations. I think they have a specific role in mind for him and hopefully his hamstring injuries are behind him. I think he can be a difference maker if he’s able to stay healthy.

  • EverybodyTalks

    The bottom line for me… “You can never have too many good Dbs “ It will be good to see him out on the field and I hope he can stay healthy for the rest of the season.

    • Brian Martin

      You’re absolutely right. Having him back in the mix is a good thing and if he can stay healthy, he may be able to earn a larger role. I wouldn’t mind seeing him challenge Anthony Brown for the starting gig. Brown has really been struggling this year.

  • Hobbes49

    Absolutely helps. The more talented DB’s, the better. More competition as well, which is a good thing.

    • Brian Martin

      I absolutely agree. I think Awuzie would probably be starting if not for the hamstring injuries. I’m really looking forward to getting him back on the field.

  • Albert Smith

    I can’t wait to see White next year as well.

    • Brian Martin

      He is definitely intriguing. I hope he’s able to develop on the Cowboys PS and he’s ready to come in and contribute next year or even this year if needed.

  • dallas1966

    Brian, I think Cheetos, has been healthy, all the time. THE delay, which co-inside with Zeke serving his suspension, is no accident. I believe you hit the head of the nail, when discussed Cheetos , mysterious role, he is about unleash, during these next six games, will put this Cowboys defense on another level. I think Coach Marinelli, has a special role, that only Cheetos, skill set, can pull of, kinda like Troy Polomalu, did for the Pittsburgh Steelers, in his hey day, AND John Lynch, WITH Tampa Bay, during its Super Bowl run.

    The coverage will be much tighter, causing the opposition quarterback to hold the ball longer, which will play in Coach Marinelli scheme of things.

    • Brian Martin

      I don’t think Awuzie has been healthy hardly at all this season. I think if he would have been, he would likely be starting right now in place of a struggling Anthony Brown. But, I do believe Marinelli has a specific role in mind for him. And yes, I do believe he will make the Cowboys secondary better.

Game Notes

Why The Seahawks Will Be Looking Into A Mirror Against The Cowboys Sunday

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals 1
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

For the better part of the last decade one defense has reigned supreme over the NFC. One defense has continually put their offense and team in position to win big games, including a dominant Super Bowl win over one of the more productive offenses in recent memory.

That defense, of course, belonged to the Seattle Seahawks.

With a secondary deemed as the "Legion of Boom" and a defensive line which rotated through Pro Bowl level talent routinely, the Seahawks bolstered one of the best defenses the NFL has ever seen. A defense which perfectly complimented the physical, run first philosophy their offense lived by.

Players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, and Bobby Wagner will arguably be Hall of Famers one day, and they wreaked havoc on the conference for a strong 3-5 year stretch.

Now, however, things are changing.

Gone are many of the elite players which once bolstered the Seattle defense to top-tier status, and while some big names remain, the talent level simply isn't the same. The Seahawks missed the postseason a year ago, and now sit at 0-2 before their home opener today against the Cowboys.

Their window looks to be closed, while their opponent today is looking to build their defense (and team) in the mold of what once was in Seattle.

Former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard has come to Dallas and brought with him a more aggressive defensive philosophy, one which he deployed successfully with the Seahawks. Under Richard the Cowboys are blitzing more often on third down than they have in the past under Rod Marinelli, they're utilizing more single high safety looks, and they are allowing their long and talented corners to do what they do best in coverage.

The Seahawks once leaned on a deep pass rush and long, physical secondary. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

The Seahawks once leaned on a mobile quarterback to make plays with his feet while relying on a strong running game and one of the league's best backs. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie look like they were molded in a 2013-Seahawks lab as cornerbacks, and DeMarcus Lawrence is as productive as any pass rusher those defenses had. Of course, we aren't able to say the Cowboys have the consistent front four depth that those Seattle teams did or that they have the single high safety of Earl Thomas' caliber, but the preliminary pieces are clearly in place.

Today the Cowboys look to improve to 2-1 with a conference road win. But, they also look to bury the Seahawks in the past and take another step towards cementing themselves as one of the elite defenses in the NFC.

It won't happen over night, but anyone can see that the potential is there.



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Player News

Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Sean Martin

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Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins is out for Sunday's game at the Seahawks with a sprained knee, further opening the door for Datone Jones to earn his spot among the "Hot Boyz". The moniker given to the Cowboys front seven this season, the team's depth up front has been a strength in totaling nine sacks through two games.

Last season, Datone Jones was a part of this rotation late in the year. Coming on strong at the 3T position while Maliek Collins played at the 1T, Jones is the type of versatile defender with veteran experience that Rod Marinelli can get the most out of.

Returning from a knee injury himself, Jones may take some time to be the disruptive interior player we saw at the end of 2017. Through two games, the Cowboys had played Collins at his original position of 3T, with Antwaun Woods doing more than enough to continue playing at 1T.

This potentially makes Collins and Jones two players fighting for one spot. Collins followed up his performance at the Panthers with a sack of Cam Newton by constantly playing in the Giants' backfield last week.

John Owning on Twitter

Guessing that means no Irving, I'd say Tyrone Crawford then Antwaun Woods. I have high hopes for Datone Jones once he returns though. https://t.co/9frjFK2J9J

A player determined to not let his team's misuse slow down his progress, after an incredible rookie season at 3T, Collins is returning from his second broken foot in three years.

Through his five years in the NFL, Jones has only played a full 16 games once.

The most games Datone has started in a season is four. Maliek Collins should like his chances of playing over Jones once both are healthy, and the Cowboys should be equally thrilled with the opportunity to keep both fresh in rotation.

Following Sunday's game in Seattle and next week against the Lions, the Cowboys can return David Irving from suspension to play all over their defensive line - his best position also being at three technique.

Without the wealth of talent they now have at all four positions up front, the Cowboys have had too many bodies to fill similar roles in the past. Thanks to the addition of Kris Richard along with strong edge play from Taco Charlton and rookie Dorance Armstrong, the Cowboys defensive line can do no wrong in 2018, and using Jones in week three and beyond should only add to this.

The Cowboys biggest key to success against the Seahawks will be containing Russell Wilson. Pressuring him in his face to collapse the pocket gives Dallas a chance to really slow the Seahawks offense, something they'll be relying on Jones to help them do as DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory also work with favorable match ups at defensive end.

Tell us what you think about "Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

Could a Cowboys Win VS Seahawks Spark an Earl Thomas Trade?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Done Pursuing FS Earl Thomas?

As we enter week 3 of the 2018 regular season, we might be entering the next important date in the Earl Thomas conversation. It's been such a wild narrative ever since the Seattle Seahawks' safety asked Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett to "come get him" and the end of this talk is not close. The trade deadline won't come until October 30th. Only then will we be able to put this conversation aside until the 2019 Free Agency arrives.

After all that's happened, including the Cowboys offering a second round draft pick for Thomas, it may come off as optimistic to expect Thomas will wear the Star in 2018. However, when the Dallas Cowboys visit Seattle today, a victory on the road could spark the trade we've been discussing since December. 

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys and #Seahawks haven't spoken about Earl Thomas since before he return. Some in the Cowboys organization hope to restart talks today. Seattle would have to be blown away to even consider it. https://t.co/dhbSNPeiiF

Ian Rapoport reported today that trade talks ended between both teams after Thomas returned to the team just before the season began. The Cowboys, according to the NFL Network reporter, "hope to restart talks today."

It only makes sense, right?

The Seattle Seahawks are not re-signing the All-Pro safety. It's not happening. Thomas is clearly unhappy with the situation and hasn't been afraid to show it in social media. Shortly after returning to the Seahawks, he went as far as posting that "the disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten."

If the Seahawks lose today against the Dallas Cowboys, they'd be 0-3 in a division where the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers are the favorites. It'd be really difficult to bounce back into the  playoffs if they open their year with three straight losses. Even more with a very bad offensive line.

If their season comes to a point where all seems lost, why keep Earl Thomas? Why would they wait until free agency next year to let him go instead of getting compensation now? The Dallas Cowboys have already offered them a second round pick earlier this month, according  to reports from ESPN's Adam Schefter. It'd be very hard to understand if they open their season with three losses and still refuse to trade him for a second rounder, considering they don't want to give Thomas an extension.

Kam Chancellor's Seahawks Career Ends, Will Earl Thomas be Next to Leave? 2

The Cowboys and the Seahawks' front offices will be in the same building today, making this even more intriguing. The Seahawks will have the Cowboys out of their way, meaning they wouldn't face their All-Pro safety if they trade him after today's game. This is without a doubt a very important chapter in the Earl Thomas' trade discussion.

So far, the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked legit, ranking as the NFL's third best in points allowed. However, the team is familiar with losing in key moments against elite quarterbacks. Thomas could take this unit to the next level, and put the defense in a very good position to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs and beyond.

For now, Thomas will wear a Seahawks uniform and play against the team in which he might eventually end up. As if the game that's going to be played on the field wasn't enough action, Cowboys Nation will be wondering what's being talked about by both front offices inside CenturyLink Field.

Tell me what you think about "Could a Cowboys Win VS Seahawks Spark an Earl Thomas Trade?" 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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