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Cowboys season in review: CB Jourdan Lewis

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How did Jourdan Lewis perform in his sophomore season?

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The start: Jourdan Lewis’ tenure in Dallas has been an interesting one. In his rookie year, Lewis was forced to start seven games and played much more than the team expected after drafting him in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft. Lewis played well in the 2017 season, seeing action in 15 games, and playing as one of the teams main cornerbacks with Orlando Scandrick, Chidobe Awuzie, and Nolan Carroll struggling or unable to stay on the field. Lewis saw a major drop in production, playing time, and opportunities from year-one to year-two with Kris Richard coming in as the teams defensive backs coach. Richard has a prototype that he likes when evaluating and playing his defensive backs, and frankly Jourdan Lewis is the complete opposite of that prototype. With that being said, Lewis played well in the opportunities he was given and certainly deserves more playing time going forward in 2019.

Best Game: Week 6 vs Jacksonville Jaguars - Jourdan Lewis saw his season-high in defensive snaps in this matchup with 40 (83.3%) and did not disappoint. While many remember Lewis’ performance in the big win against the Saints, Lewis was just as good against the Jaguars lining up all over the formation for the defense. Lewis covered T.J. Yeldon out of the backfield, lined up across from Dede Westbrook and Marquise Lee, and dominated his matchups against the Jaguars. While no play in the Jaguars game was as big of a play as in the Saints game, the overall performance was more impressive given the multitude of matchups and how consistent he was given the amount of snaps he played.

Worst Game: Week 4 vs Detroit Lions - It’s tough to call a game bad when a player only receives one snap, but on that one snap, Lewis was toasted by Golden Tate for a 45-yard TD that changed the game completely. Lewis slipped trying to defend Tate coming out of his break, whiffed on the tackle attempt, and allowed Tate to break free for the touchdown. As mentioned above, Lewis played only one snap in this game, and that snap led to six points for the Lions.

2019 Role: It’s tough to envision a scenario where Jourdan Lewis see’s a big jump in playing time in 2019 with Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and even some of the younger corners entering the mix heading into training camp. While Lewis is likely to see the short-end of the stick again in 2019, don’t let the lack of playing time speak for Lewis’ skill. Jourdan Lewis is still one of the more talented corners on the roster, and his ability to play multiple spots in multiple roles will certainly help him maintain some value to Kris Richard. Lewis will get plenty of opportunities in training camp to show the Dallas coaching staff that he still has what it takes to be a starting cornerback in the NFL, with Byron Jones on the PUP list to start camp. Worst-case scenario, Lewis will likely be the fifth cornerback on the roster, and see the playing field at a similar rate he did in 2018. Best-case scenario, Lewis will win himself more playing time in training camp with Byron Jones sidelined, and will see more snaps in nickel and dime packages, and covering receiving backs out of the backfield similar to how he did against Alvin Kamara against the Saints.