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Cowboys countdown to kickoff: #1 Noah Igbinoghene (substitute player)

The Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants in Week 1. And we’re counting down to it by jersey numbers.

Dallas Cowboys v Tennessee Titans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. We are finally at one day left.

Although Noah Igbinoghene is wearing #19 for Dallas, he is replacing Kelvin Joseph who would have been #1 on the countdown before the trade. We want to cover Igbinoghene in the series before kickoff. Also, Jayron Kearse is now wearing #1, but we covered him way back at #27 when that was his jersey number. So that is how we got to Noah Igbinoghene at #1.

CB Noah Igbinoghene
Born: 27th November 1999 (23) - Trussville, Alabama
College: Auburn Tigers
Draft: 2020, Round 1, Pick 30, Miami Dolphins

2022 Stats:
Total Snaps: 279
Defensive Snaps: 238
Tackles: 10
Pass Breakup: 3
Interceptions: 1
QB Rate Allowed: 77.1
Penalties: 3

Noah Igbinoghene joined Auburn in 2017. Initially he was on the offense playing as a wide receiver and during his freshman year he caught six passes for 24 yards. He also made 24 returns on special teams for 571 return yards.

The next year he made the switch from offense to defense and played in 13 games for the Tigers at cornerback. He made 50 tackles (fifth-most on team), one interception and led the team in pass breakups with 11, which was also third-most in the SEC. He also remained on kickoff return duties and scored one touchdown on 11 kickoff returns and had 311 return yards.

In 2019, Igbinoghene played in all 13 games for Auburn. He made 42 tackles, one tackles for loss and seven pass breakups. He also added nine kickoff returns, one of which went for a 96-yard touchdown, the longest in school history. Although he only played two seasons at cornerback and they were both relatively quiet years, he declared for the NFL Draft.

Cowboys Outlook:
Igbinoghene was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Dolphins made some serious draft trades in 2020 which got them extra first- and second-round draft picks. One of those picks they used to select Noah Igbinoghene. He played in 32 games for the Dolphins and started in five. He’s totaled 29 tackles, five pass breakups and one interception. The Cowboys and Dolphins made a straight swap with Igbinoghene and Kelvin Joseph, who was also underwhelming for Dallas since being drafted.

Being one of three first-round draft picks made by Miami, there was a lot of pressure on Igbinoghene to perform. He now gets a fresh start, the pressure placed on him by his high draft status is no longer a problem for him mentally. Igbinoghene was a sore spot for the Dolphins due to the draft capital and lack of production. But since Dallas were not the ones that spent a first-round draft pick on him, that should allow him to re-boot.

So what made Igbinoghene so intriguing, and why the trade? He is highly athletic and ran track in college. Both his parents are Olympic athletes, so it only seems inevitable Igbinoghene would follow suit. His ability to recover when in coverage is incredible. He has elite levels of burst which helps him close space quickly and eliminate any cushion his opponent has made. He’s certainly a physical and willing tackler, another plus. In terms of playing the ball when it’s in the air, he has the athleticism to get up and high-point the ball away from its intended target.

What Igbinoghene lacks is general ball skills, along with instincts. That’s due to the fact he hasn’t been a defensive back for long. His biggest struggles come in the form of his ability to recognize patterns and general technique. Miami really destroyed his confidence early by allowing him to try and defend receivers like Stefon Diggs who got free reign on the field against him.

If any coach in the NFL can help a defender figure it out and reach their potential, then Dan Quinn is the guy. What Noah Igbinoghene really needed was a change of scenery to help him reach his ceiling. Something that could also be said for Kelvin Joseph. Now both get that opportunity.

The Big Question:
What do you believe is the ceiling this year for Noah Igbinoghene? Answer in the comments.

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