D’Joun Smith Ideal Dual-Threat Corner For Dallas Cowboys


The Dallas Cowboys have a variety of defensive needs in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft. Some areas are more urgent than others, including two very unsettling holes.

The shaky cornerback position highlights the list after downgrading from Sterling Moore to Corey White. Morris Claiborne is a free agent in 2016, and Brandon Carr will no longer hold the salary cap hostage.

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Losing special teams ace Dwayne Harris also caused a return game power outage requiring brand new electricity.

The good news for Dallas is a dual-threat fix will be available in the 2nd round.

One cornerback / special teams ace has the tools to repair both damaged areas.



5’10 , 187 – Florida Atlantic

Conerback / Special Teams

Combine Highlights:

4.45 40-yard dash (7th of 29)

18 bench reps of 225 lbs. (6th of 22)

College Stats:

113 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 3 forced fumbles

30 pass defenses, 9 interceptions, 2 Int TD’s

28 kick returns, 24.5 yards return average (26.3 avg. as Senior)

2013 season: 35 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 13 pass defenses, 7 Int’s, 1 Int TD


Smith is an intriguing prospect mostly given late 2nd to late 3rd round status. He should be available for the Cowboys second pick (60th overall).

In coverage, Smith displays excellent footwork, very fluid hips, and quickness bursts to stick on receivers at all levels.

Some scouts view him best suited to play off the receiver in cover 2 zone schemes. Part of the reasoning is their confusion over his top end speed.

On game films I viewed (Marshall, Nebraska), he never lost a foot race for a deep ball. While his 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine was 7th best of 29 corners.

Smith is no one-trick zone pony, often excelling in man coverage at the line. He doesn’t jam hard but disrupts off the ball, while his fluidity and quickness mirrors receivers.

In zone coverage he’s very solid, passing his man off to others appropriately, and hand-checking tightly within his designated area. He attacks the ball once in the air.

Smith diagnoses the run blazing fast, breaks hard to the football, and attacks the ball-carrier with proper angles. He’s not a safety type striker, but has good form and closes.


Inconsistent deep coverage concerns should involve his technique defending the long ball, not speed. When stride for stride, he occasionally fails to turn his head around.

While reading the receiver’s eyes only, he sometimes swats his hand late. Head turns and eye reading in unison is a technique well taught and refined under pro coaching.

Another concern mentioned is his production drop-off from his Junior to Senior season. With 6 fewer Int’s and 1 less sack, the reduced production is noticeable on paper.

Detractors are blind to the steep decline of the Florida Atlantic front seven in 2014…

2013: 1,959 rush yards, 94 rush first downs, 18 rush touchdowns, 33 sacks

2014: 2,665 rush yards, 133 rush first downs, 34 rush touchdowns, 21.5 sacks

The FAU defense allowed 706 more rushing yards, 39 more rushing first downs, 16 more rushing TD’s, and forced 12.5 fewer sacks.

With Smith adding 18 more tackles in 2014, he was forced to aid a bleeding run defense. His senior stats reduced due to extra focus on the run, and less QB pressure.


Smith pulled double duty as a special teams ace. He played left end on punt coverage and did so well. He gets down field fast, avoids blockers, and produces timely stops.

He also logged solid results on kick returns. Smith had 28 career returns, 685 yards, and 24.5 yards per return. All but one return came in 2012 and 2014, which also explains his 2013 pass defense stat explosion while focusing solely on defense.

"What I’m learning now, hopefully I’d be learning in my rookie year, but now I have a head-start and I can compete. I don’t want to go to the NFL and sit on the bench. I want to play. I’ll do special teams and all that, but I want to do more than just learn. – D’Joun Smith to NFLDraftScout.com"

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