As the Dallas Cowboys continue to struggle to create turnovers, can this rookie defender help turn the tide in the battle for takeaways?
During the 2017 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys used a whopping seven of their nine total selections on the defensive side of the ball. After suffering heavy free agency losses along their secondary, the Cowboys replaced those veterans with a youth injection.
In fact, the Cowboys used a majority of those seven defensive draft picks on their secondary. Those rookies include defensive backs Chidobe Awuzie (second round), Jourdan Lewis (third round), Marquez White (sixth round) and Xavier Woods (sixth round).
All four are expected to play a role in their rookie season, whether it’s as a possible starter or just providing quality depth and special teams play. With training camp kicking off last week, all of these first-year defenders hit the ground running.
It’s important this draft class learn quickly if they are going to have an impact starting in September, when the regular season begins. And there already appears to be one prospect shining brighter than the rest.
Here’s what one Cowboys insider said when asked which rookie defensive back impressed him the most through the first week of training camp…
"“Chidobe Awuzie, and it’s really not close,” responded Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News during a recent live chat. “…Awuzie seems to have a knack for forcing turnovers. His knowledge of the game and athleticism make him a guy that I think will be on the field in a lot of different roles this season. He has two interceptions in two days. He could be exactly what the Cowboys have been missing on the back end.”"
NFL.com compared Awuzie to former New York Giants first round pick, cornerback Prince Amukamara. That’s mainly referring to his similar size, speed and coverage abilities. The “Prince” now plays for the Chicago Bears, by the way.
The 6’0, 190 pound Awuzie played all over the field at Colorado, from cornerback to safety to even linebacker. In his rookie season in Dallas, he’s expected to do the exact same.
But the one thing “Chido” wasn’t known for is being a ballhawk. During his entire four-year career at Colorado, he recorded just three interceptions. So this is a new aspect to Awuzie’s game. And it’s one the Dallas Cowboys desperately need as they ranked a lowly 27th in the NFL last season recording just nine total interceptions on the year.