One of the more interesting things that happened during Kris Richard’s first season as the secondary coach of the Dallas Cowboys was that Jourdan Lewis didn’t really receive much playing time compared to the season before in 2017.
Lewis was a rookie in 2017, so his first year under Richard was his sophomore season in the NFL. He was part of a crop of young secondary players brought in to replace the group of Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, JJ Wilcox, and Barry Church that all left following the 2016 season (can you believe how long ago that feels, by the way?) but he hasn’t really caught on as a regular contributor to the team.
Thankfully, there have been big moments for Lewis. None bigger than his interception against the New Orleans Saints that effectively sealed the biggest win of the season for Dallas, but why then has he struggled to get on the field?
Unfortunately, Lewis doesn’t meet the physical requirements that have become known to Cowboys cornerbacks. As a result he has found himself buried on the depth chart (and also linked to trade rumors), but that apparently hasn’t lowered his spirit. While speaking at GoSportsCon on Sunday he elaborated on how “riding the bench” was beneficial for him.
"I appreciate the time I sat on that bench. Honestly. Because it made me a better player. It made me a better person."— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) July 14, 2019
Cowboys CB @JourdanJD talks about what he learned from the 2018 season. pic.twitter.com/2iPEQPTDku
Lewis has been known to be somewhat feisty at times, his play style certainly reflects that. This was on full display an offseason ago when we all saw the All or Nothing season that chronicled the 2017 Cowboys and Lewis going toe-to-toe with Dez Bryant during practice. There’s a lot to like about his game.
So much of the challenge, though, of playing football is the rigors of positional structure. Unfortunately for Lewis, the Cowboys have three cornerbacks ahead of him in Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown that he just can’t seem to become a priority over. It’s frustrating because he is a good player in his own right, but as they say this is a good problem to have.
Nonetheless, it’s nice to see that if there is a problem that it isn’t with Lewis’ attitude. Him having the self-awareness to be able to compartmentalize “riding the bench” is a rare thing in professional sports, hopefully he gets the chance he deserves sooner rather than later.