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Cowboys’ 2017 Sixth-Round Pick Xavier Woods Is A Diamond For Dallas

The Cowboys got a steal with their sixth-round selection of Xavier Woods.

CUSA Football Championship - Louisiana Tech v Marshall Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys’ quest of revamping and improving both the defense and the secondary continued with their first of two sixth-round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The Cowboys selected Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton to bolster their pass rush with the 28th overall selection, grabbed jack-of-all-trades defensive back Chidobe Awuzie out of Colorado in the second-round, and then took Michigan corner Jourdan Lewis to close out the first two days of the draft.

On day three, Dallas decided to jump at the chance to add North Carolina star Ryan Switzer to their offense and their special teams. The electric Switzer can take a play to the house from anywhere, something that will help both Dak Prescott and the special teams. The Cowboys then went back to their objective of improving their defense.

The Cowboys wanted to leave the draft with players capable of playing in big moments for the defense. They seemingly were able to do just that with Louisiana Tech safety Xavier Woods — a player that the staff was high on throughout the draft process. He was still sitting there late on day three so Dallas made the decision to move up to select their guy. The Cowboys traded a 2018 fifth-round pick to the New York Jets for the 191st pick in April’s draft. With the conditional draft picks the Cowboys are expected to receive in next year’s draft, combined with the talent Woods’ possesses, this is quite the impressive investment.

In fact, the Dallas Cowboys grabbed five of their top 68 players in this past draft.

The Dallas Cowboys were able to select five of the top 68 players on their draft board, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones.

That’s quite an accomplishment considering they drafted Louisiana Tech safety Xavier Woods in the sixth round with the 191st pick after making a trade with the New York Jets.

As mentioned earlier, the Dallas Cowboys were high on the Louisiana Tech safety throughout the draft process. They were intrigued with his talent and decided to bring Woods in for one of their 30 pre-draft visits to learn more about him. Here is some of what our own Joseph.Hatz had to say about Woods in April:

Pros: Extremely aggressive player who attacks the ball fearlessly whether in the run game or in coverage. Seemingly constantly around the ball. Excellent ball skills and good awareness to get his head turned, track, locate, and make a play. Reacts quickly once he reads a play, does a very nice job of reading route combinations and driving on the ball, although he can be overaggressive at times. Technically sound, physical tackler who doesn’t shy away from contact and isn’t afraid to take on blockers.

Xavier Woods showcased his talent for the Bulldogs throughout all four years in Ruston, Louisiana. Woods saw significant playing time from the time he stepped foot on campus as he played in 12 games in his debut season.

Xavier Woods’ stats during his career at Louisiana Tech (courtesy of sports-reference.com).

As a true freshman, Woods started at defensive back for the Bulldogs in 10 games. He recorded 61 total tackles, wrapped up three behind the line of scrimmage, and deflected two passes in his first season out of high school. Woods quickly became an impact player for the Louisiana Tech defense.

Woods’ sophomore season was even better. In his second year in the system, Woods flew all over the field to make plays for his team. Woods racked up 71 tackles — 52 of which were solo — brought down three for a loss, got to the quarterback once, and picked off six passes in 2014. Woods proved to be a ball hawk with his six interceptions, a school record 230 INT return yards, and two scores. The Cowboys’ sixth-round selection cemented himself as a highly-talented defensive back in just his second year of collegiate ball.

Out to prove his sophomore season was not a fluke, Woods built on his success and continued to his high level play for the Bulldogs. Woods totaled 56 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, and grabbed three more interceptions over the course of his third college season. In two seasons, Woods recorded 183 tackles and nine interceptions. Crazy.

Not to be outdone by his first three seasons on campus, Woods made his final season his best. He set career highs in total tackles (84, +13), solo tackles (60, +8), sacks (3, +2), and still managed to bring down five interceptions during his senior campaign. So, over three seasons, Woods totaled 267 tackles and 14 interceptions. The Louisiana native earned All-Conference honors during his final two seasons at LA Tech and struck fear into offensive coordinators and opposing quarterbacks every time he roamed the secondary.

Simply put it, Woods is a baller.

In this clip against Dak and Mississippi State, Xavier Woods shows he is not afraid to get involved in the run game. Woods sniffs out the quarterback dive and attacks the play from the secondary.

This is just a glimpse of what Xavier Woods can bring to the table. On one of his six interceptions during his sophomore season, Woods showcases his play-making ability on this return against Louisiana-Lafayette. Cowboys fans would love to see some of this in silver and blue.

Last year, the Cowboys struck gold with their sixth-round selection of Anthony Brown out of Purdue. Brown proved to be a late steal for the Cowboys and is expected to be a leader on the defense going forward. It appears that Rod Marinelli and company just had another diamond fall into their lap in the 2017 draft, too.

*Note: gifs are courtesy of Draft Breakdown and LA Tech Athletics; stats are courtesy of sports-reference.com.

Cowboys 2017 First-Round Pick Taco Charlton Only Going To Get Better
Cowboys 2017 Second-Round Draft Pick Chidobe Awuzie Is The Definition Of Versatility
Cowboys’ Third-Round Pick Jourdan Lewis Gives Dallas Many Options
Cowboys Fourth-Round Pick Ryan Switzer Adds Dangerous Weapon To Dallas
Cowboys’ Sixth-Round Pick Marquez White Has Upside