Nov 20, 2013; Toledo, OH, USA; Northern Illinois Huskies safety Jimmie Ward (15) warms up before the game against the Toledo Rockets at Glass Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys Must Draft Jimmie Ward


The Cowboys may have found their solution to their safety problem in draft prospect, Jimmie Ward. When I watch this guy, I see him having a very good future in the NFL. I would love for the Cowboys to pick him in second round of the draft. I personally see him as a prospect that deserves a first round grade. From the games I’ve watched of him, he has shown great talent and I would love to see him wear the star on his helmet.

One knock I’ve seen of Ward is his size. He’s only 5’11” and 193 pounds. He’s considered a bit small, but there are a lot of safeties in the NFL that are below 6’0”. Earl Thomas, Ed Reed, Eric Weddle, and Troy Polamalu are all examples. However, all of the safeties listed are above 200 pounds, so Ward can definitely gain some weight. Ward definitely needs to hit the weight room, at the combine his bench press was an unimpressive 9 reps. However when you watch his game, you would never have guessed that he would score so lowly. When he hits, there is authority behind it. If he gets his arm on the ball carrier, they won’t be able to escape his tackle.

Ward does a lot of things well on the field. What stuck out most to me is his tackling ability. He wraps up very well and does not allow a chance of a broken tackle. He’s a great tackler, and when I watch him he has proper form and goes low. Ward can also lay a hard hit, but what surprises me most is that he lands these hits very carefully so he won’t draw a flag.  He makes sure to hit opposing players in the chest, not at the helmet. He’s very strategic with these hits as he uses them to force incompletions. Ward also does well in the box, and is always around the ball carrier. In his senior season he had an impressive 74 tackles, which shows his ability to get around the ball carrier. Ward can defend the point of attack and can contain runningbacks to small gains. He can also attack the line of scrimmage and make tackles for a loss. When I see his tackling and hitting ability, he reminds me of a hard hitting strong safety. However he has much more capabilities than that.

In coverage, Ward is impressive. He had 7 interceptions this past year, which shows his ability to locate the ball in the air. In addition to this he had 10 passes defended. Ward is great in deep coverage and has great ability to make plays on the ball. At Northern Illinois, Ward often covered the slot in man coverage and showed impressive ability to blanket the receiver. In coverage, Ward can do it all. He can hit like a strong safety, but he can cover like a free safety. Ward is a versatile and complete safety, which the Cowboy can use.

Ward shows he can play well in both the running and passing game. His tapes are very impressive and he looks like he can be a starter from day 1. He has the potential to be a great playmaking safety, which the Cowboys been lacking since Darren Woodson played for us. I personally like Ward better than HaHa Clinton-Dix. Ward looks to be a better playmaker. Though I have to keep in mind that Ward played in a weaker conference, and as a result he faced off against worse competition. Despite this I think Ward is the kind of safety that the Cowboys have desperately lacking for years. He would be a great pick in the second round.

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  • Will Martin

    He may very well be gone by the 2nd round. Draft “experts” have him shooting up the draft board and he might be gone long before pick 47. Do you like him enough to take at pick 16 or maybe trade down and grab him later in round 1?

    • Kerrie Wong

      I personally have him as a second round prospect. It would definitely be better to trade down to get him because he’ll be a reach at 16. If you don’t think we’ll get him in the 2nd round, I think it’d be better to trade up using our 2nd round pick rather than trade down. I like where we are at 16, because I feel like we’ll be able to pick DL and get optimal value. If we like Ward enough, we can trade up to the end of the first. In the past teams were able to trade a 2nd and 4th to get back in the end of the 1st.

  • Guy Smith

    Could you imagine the Cowboy’s adding a high second round pick, we draft a DT, DE and safety like Ward or Buchannon by he end of the second round, then we still have our 3rd, 4th, 5th and Six 7th rounders to add some needed depth..Hey, is that GM’s job open??

    • David

      Dallas needs a playmaking FS not a small weak SS. I mean 9 reps in the bench. Come on that is pretty bad..

  • billy

    you know its too bad the cowboys only have one pick in all the rounds except 7. the boys need so many players but cant take all the ones they want. id love to have jimmy ward for the cowboys. he sounds like an rkog but i dont think safety is a priority. dl and ol are what they have to draft with their premium pics. i hope they can get themselves a d tackle and an edge rusher with the first two pics. they have to start building their team from the lines out. jerrys idea of drafting for the newspapers hasnt worked in a while. i really hope they trade dez for pics and avoid paying him the big salary. they can find serviceable receivers in the draft who dont cost so much for at least a few years.

  • David

    The issue I have with Ward is not only his size but that he does not come from a big time program. The four safeties you mentioned all came from top programs. Dallas has failed to many times with small school safeties. They can hopefully go with Pryor or Dix and then go DE in the 2nd round where the value will be better.

  • ctcowboy1968

    Ward is not a must draft. First round is for DL. Second round should be for an DL or OL. Don’t like Ward’s small size. 193 and 9 reps is just to small and weak.

  • BradAustin

    Ward is most complete safety in this draft. I’m with you…love this guy in Dallas to take over the FS spot on day one. Would probably have to move up to early 2nd to get him though. Should easily be gone by pick 47.