I honestly believe if the Cowboys had kept Andrew I wouldn’t be writing this story on the safety position. The debate on drafting a safety in the 1st round would be unnecessary. Why? Because when every single coach a guy ever played for, all said he was the hardest working guy on the team, a “Ball Hawk” and had natural instincts, that’s the kind of player I want, those are the things that can’t be taught. With less reps in the 2011 preseason, Andrew not only led all the DB’s in tackles, but was 2nd on the whole team. I find it amusing that the Cowboys had 19 free agents (many of which were on the depth chart ahead of Andrew) and no one wanted them, but Andrew got grabbed up as soon as he hit the wire. Last I checked he was listed as the #2 safety on the Minnesota Vikings depth chart and he had Never even attended training camp there yet.
Barron started 38 career games as the Tide’s safety. He amassed 66 tackles on the 2011 season, including 42 solo stops, 4.0 tackles for loss, one quarterback hurry, five pass break ups and a fumble recovery. He logged two interceptions for the season , ( he has 12 for his career) which ranks tied for eighth in school history.
I personally think Barron is over rated because he went to Alabama. I also feel he is a risk, not only because he had a torn pectoral muscle, but he then ended up unable to participate in the combine due to needing surgery for a double hernia. The Cowboys have had enough problems with injury issues in the secondary already (mike Jenkins). The other red flag that comes up with me other than being injury prone is his criminal record. I am big on character. Being arrested for lying to police doesn’t look good on any resume.
Man Coverage: Not often asked to drop down and cover the slot in this scheme. Is a bit stiff in the hips and has only average change of direction. Does show a late burst to close on the football. “This concerns me. One of the biggest weaknesses on the Cowboys defense last year was the lack of a cover safety. Teams would spread them out, forcing them to play Nickel and take advantage of the LB’s and the slot.” If we are going to draft a safety we definitely need one that is solid in coverage.
Ball Skills: Classic ball hawk. Reads the quarterback’s eyes and does a nice job of breaking on the throw. Good acceleration and straight-line speed. Very good ball skills for the position. Generally times his leaps well and has good hand-eye coordination to make the difficult grab. Good vision and natural running skills with the footbal
Run Support: Reads run quickly and aggressively attacks, taking out blockers when he has help behind him. Unafraid of playing near the line of scrimmage, though he shows only average strength and technique to disengage. Good agility and speed to avoid blockers, showing an ability to make a lot of plays at or near the line of scrimmage. Prone to overrunning the play, however, and leaving potential cutback lanes for backs to exploit.
Tackling: Isn’t as reliable an open-field tackler as you’d think, considering his reputation. Flies upfield in run support and can fail to break down properly. Doesn’t possess the elite agility to dance with runners in the open field and always make the secure stop. Physical hitter who teases with textbook hit-lift-drive technique, but will also duck his head occasion to make the big hit and miss entirely or fail to wrap up securely and have the ball-carrier spin through his attempted tackle. Among his better traits, however, is his ability to take good angles when in pursuit. Understands his role as the last line of defense and rarely allows ball-carriers to get past him when he is in this position. (Compliments of Rob Rang.) “Another red flag. One of the biggest problems in the Cowboys secondary has been missed tackles. In many cases the safety is the last line of defense to the goal line.”
See the finale of my story on the next page…….