Selected 60th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, can Dallas Cowboys defensive back Chidobe Awuzie save the defensive secondary from disaster?
Dallas Cowboys defensive back Chidobe Awuzie wore an all-black outfit to the 2017 NFL Draft. He arrived on day one ready for interviews and photographs. His parents were next to him. The night was suppose to be big for him and his family.
But the first-round talent out of Colorado left that night without a team. Awuzie didn’t come back the next day.
After selecting defensive end Taco Charlton with the 28th overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys grabbed Awuzie in the second round.
Before landing with the Cowboys, 16 defensive backs went before him. These days, it’s feels like Awuzie is on the back burner. Even wide receiver Ryan Switzer, the Cowboys fourth rounder, is getting more love than Awuzie.
Heck, even Drew Pearson, who called the second rounder’s name, is getting more spotlight than him. Linebacker Jaylon Smith wasn’t part of the 2017 class, but due to his circumstance, he is getting the rookie treatment.
Overall, the Cowboys spent seven draft choices on their defense, leaving only two picks for the offense. Four of those seven picks went to the defensive back positions.
Of all the nine picks, I am betting the most chips on Awuzie.
Now that the Cowboys have cleared the deck by letting Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne walk, it’s time for a new start. Though it is unclear whether Awuzie will play safety or cornerback for the Cowboys, the 22-year-old is expected to start.
Sure, it’s fun to root for a guy named Taco, who also happens to be a first round spotlight. It’s also really fun to speculate what Switzer can do on the field as the team’s Swiss Army knife. Awuzie may not be the sexy pick for the Cowboys, but he is a central figure against pass heavy teams.
Things won’t be easy for the rookie, especially now that the rest of the NFC East went big at the wide out spots. Awuzie has his hands full. But pairing him up with former first rounder Byron Jones is a must-see blockbuster.
On top of that, the rookie will get valuable reps by lining up with Dez Bryant in practice.
With Claiborne joining the New York Jets, the Cowboys can now move on. He never lived up to the hype, and the organization paid dearly for it. It’s no wonder fans are a little gun-shy about injecting some excitement into the secondary positions.
But it’s a fresh start for Big D, and it all starts with a guy named Chidobe. Analysts and fans have a hard time pronouncing his name, so it’ll be up to the rookie to make sure it gets corrected.
And a good way to start is by helping the team forget Claiborne, who couldn’t be the team’s savior in the secondary. Awuzie has a chance to change the narrative, and the future for the Cowboys.