Dallas Draft Day Dilemma: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix vs. Calvin Pryor

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Dec 5, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Chris Moore (15) its tackled by Louisville Cardinals safety Calvin Pryor (25) during the first quarter at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Calvin Pryor is certainly no slouch either. When you watch the game tape on him, his hitting ability is the first thing to jump out at you. He has no problem being physical and brings a bit of an intimidation factor to the field. This is backed up by his nine career forced fumbles. Even though he is a physical force, he does have the requisite ball skills needed to be a major asset in coverage as well.

In three years at Louisville, Pryor had seven interceptions and eighteen passes defensed which is on par with Clinton-Dix. If Pryor has any weaknesses in coverage, it would come in one-on-one situations against speed based receivers or guys in the slot. If you’re looking for a center fielder type of safety who can augment your run defense however, you could not do much better than Pryor.

Much like his counterpart, Pryor had a semi-pedestrian combine, displaying above average but not elite speed (their forty times were both 4.58 seconds) and not much else in the other drills. He did bench more than Clinton-Dix (18 reps at 225 lbs versus 11 reps) and had a better cone drill time (6.98 seconds over 7.16 seconds) but lost to Clinton-Dix in the shuttle drill (4.30 to Clinton-Dix’s 4.16). This confirms what the game film indicates which is Pryor is better suited for zone type schemes and less likely to be proficient in man-to-man concepts.

Overall, each prospect would represent a massive upgrade to what the Cowboys currently have on the roster. Each has their pros which heavily outweigh their cons so in this case, it really comes down to a better fit. While Clinton-Dix may bring to mind recent disappointments in choosing a defensive back with a great college pedigree (see Claiborne, Morris), in my mind he still represents the better choice for Dallas.  Pryor would be the perfect safety for the Cowboys, if they already had a coverage type player in place. Unfortunately, he duplicates Barry Church too much, even if he may be better all-around.  Because of this, if Dallas was to go the safety route with the 16th overall selection, the index card should read Hasean Clinton-Dix, safety, University of Alabama.

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Tags: Barry Church Calvin Pryor Dallas Cowboys Darren Woodson Ha Ha Hasean Clinton-Dix J.J. Wilcox Jeff Heath Roy Williams

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