Due to a hamstring injury, one of the Dallas Cowboys most talented rookies is missing some valuable playing time in training camp.
The Dallas Cowboys were excited when they landed a talent like Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis late in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. You know that based on the fact the Cowboys had already selected a corner the round before in Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie. And many believe Lewis is the more talented cover corner.
But the problem with Lewis is he’s missed a lot of time in training camp, primarily due to injury. Initially, the 21-year old missed the start of camp due to having to stand trial for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. After being found not guilty on those charges, Lewis rushed to get to Oxnard, California.
In only his second practice with Dallas, Lewis suffered a hamstring injury. And he’s been sidelined every since. In the meantime, the Cowboys coaches have been making sure the rookie is prepared mentally.
"“It’s a lot of missed opportunities for [Lewis]. A lot of repetitions in practice,” Cowboys’ defensive backs coach Joe Baker told the Star-Telegram. “So you try to get him those in the meetings and walk-throughs even though they’re not full speed. Try to get him in those positions, get his eyes right, get him to understand where he’s supposed to be leverage-wise.”"
Still, nothing replaces seeing action on the field. And Lewis hasn’t done much of that, missing the Cowboys first two preseason games and likely will be sidelined for the third.
With the Cowboys secondary losing veterans like corners Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne plus safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox in the offseason to free agency, rookies like Awuzie, Lewis, Marquez White and Xavier Woods will likely play a big part for Dallas this season. And missing half of training camp hinders his ability to contribute quickly and that’s is a serious concern.
Unfortunately, the position of cornerback in the NFL is one of the most difficult to conquer as a rookie. Unlike defensive tackle, as last year’s third round selection, Maliek Collins, also missed a majority of training camp due to a broken foot and still posted a terrific rookie season. For corners, the extra playing time to adjust to the speed of the NFL is critical.
What Lewis’ absence has also done is open the door for other hungry cornerbacks to step in. And the one looking most likely to steal a roster spot is former University of Texas alum Duke Thomas. The former Longhorn flashed on several plays last Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams. Thomas recorded five total tackles and recorded Dallas’ only fumble recovery.
Although Lewis is in no danger of losing his job due to his draft status, others missing time due to injury like Marquez White are. And players like Thomas are making plays and making a case for landing a spot on the final 53.
According to Lewis, he believes he is close to returning, which is great news. As the possible biggest steal of the NFL Draft, a lot of people are anxious to see what the former Wolverine can do.
During his final two seasons at Michigan, Jourdan Lewis recorded 45 total tackles, four interceptions and had an incredible 29 pass defends.