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Did the Dallas Cowboys improve at cornerback in 2018?

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Taking a good look at every position on the roster and asking the question: Did the Cowboys improve?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Minicamp Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

[In this series, we’ll take a look at the additions and subtractions at every position on the Dallas Cowboys roster. We’ll compare where the Cowboys were to where they currently sit and ask the ultimate question. Did the Cowboys improve or not? In other words, do you feel better about the state of the roster going into the 2018 season?]

Last season:

Chidobe Awuzie - drafted 60th overall (2nd round), 10 games played, 25 tackles, seven passes defensed, one interception, one forced fumble

Jourdan Lewis - drafted 92 overall (3rd round), 15 games played, seven starts, 54 tackles, 10 passes defensed, one interception

Anthony Brown - 16 games played, 10 starts, 54 tackles, 11 passes defensed, two interceptions, one sack, one forced fumble

Orlando Scandrick - 11 starts, 38 tackles, three passes defensed, released in offseason, signed two-year, $7M deal with Redskins, $1M gtd.

Nolan Carroll - signed in free agency, two starts, five tackles, released October 11th

Bene Benekwere - via trade with Bengals at roster cuts, 12 games played, two tackles, one pass defensed, one fumble recovery, signed one-year vet deal with Cardinals

Duke Thomas - signed in free agency, spent season on IR

Marquez White - drafted 216th overall (6th round), Practice squad

This season:

Byron Jones - moved from FS to CB

Chidobe Awuzie

Jourdan Lewis

Anthony Brown

Duke Thomas

Marquez White

Donovan Olumba - UDFA Portland State, College stats: 11 starts, 21 tackles, seven passes defensed, two TFL’s

Charvarius Ward - UDFA Middle Tennessee State, College stats: 24 games, 74 tackles, 14 passes defensed, three TFL’s, two interceptions, one fumble recovery

All of last year’s rookies except for Marquez White played significant time with Xavier Woods splitting time at safety and cornerback. One of the first moves that was made this offseason was the hiring of Kris Richard, the legendary engineer of Seattle’s Legion of Boom, to take over the coaching duties of the secondary. We’ve since learned that Richard’s role will be much bigger than that as he will be the passing game coordinator and possibly be the defensive-coordinator-in-waiting.

The first move Richard made was taking Byron Jones, a man without a sure position, and moving him to cornerback. Richard likes his perimeter corners to have length and Jones has plenty. Jones is also one of the premier athletes on the roster who has the coverage abilities to take on big receivers and tight ends but also has the speed to stick with faster receivers. Richard felt that Jones was drafted as a cornerback and that’s where his best place will be going forward.

Chidobe Awuzie had a pretty strong rookie season though he had to deal with some nicks and bruises. Awuzie eventually took over a starting role last season and played well enough to keep it. He’s got a lot of qualities that Richard likes including desired length and sticky man coverage abilities. Awuzie was clearly one of the best cornerbacks the Cowboys had last season and showed improvements with each game he played.

The same could be said for Jourdan Lewis, who Richard calls an exception to his length rule. Lewis is sub-six feet but he has good length in his arms and was also a clear talent in his rookie season. Lewis was the best nickelback in college and the Cowboys will look to have him battle with Anthony Brown for the slot role this season. Brown has had the early advantage in the offseason program but Lewis has the talent to win the job. Brown had his struggles last season but he was also on the right side of a few calls last season, snagging a couple of picks. Brown does have speed on his side but also has the ability to play inside and out.

Duke Thomas had a position won on this roster last year with a solid preseason performance but he ended up on IR with a season ending injury. Duke will battle second-year player Marquez White, who’s quietly held his own at Florida State, allowing a completion percentage of 32.1 when thrown at. We’ll soon see if White can challenge Thomas for a fifth corner spot. However, he won’t be the only challenger as Charvarius Ward is a very interesting candidate too. Ward led his defense with 14 passes defensed last season. If he can continue to get his hands on the football, he’ll have a shot.

Conclusion: The Cowboys secondary is young and hungry, with the hiring of Richard, they’re in great hands. The cornerback position is quite strong with it’s top four and you can never have too many quality cornerbacks on the roster. There is no doubt that the Cowboys cornerback position is getting better than it has been over the past several seasons.

Poll

Did the Cowboys improve at cornerback in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Yes
    (1315 votes)
  • 3%
    No
    (55 votes)
  • 6%
    Indifferent
    (95 votes)
1465 votes total Vote Now