Xavier Woods, Safety
The Dallas Cowboys figured they had a steal in the sixth round when they traded up to select Louisiana Tech safety Xavier Woods. The team actually had a fourth round grade on him. And fans were absolutely jacked by the prospect of Woods joining a secondary that lost veterans Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox to free agency in the offseason.
But honestly, Woods has been a bit lost in this shuffle this offseason. With other defensive rookies like cornerback Chidobe Awuize and defensive end Taco Charlton stealing the spotlight, and the debut of second-year linebacker Jaylon Smith, the sixth round pick hasn’t really stood out.
But against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Woods shined. The 22-year old would lead the Cowboys in tackles with seven. But more importantly, he made critical stops on third down that forced the Rams to punt.
Coming out of college, Woods was touted as a very intelligent player. And that aspect of his game shined Saturday as the rookie seemed to understand where the first down marker always was, and the type of tackle he needed to make to prevent to receiver from getting to it. They were smart plays made by a first-year safety who seems to be gaining confidence with every precious snap.