The Dallas Cowboys need more production from their secondary and they will get it from a savvy veteran or an upstart rookie.
One of the areas the Dallas Cowboys have struggled with for several seasons now is creating turnovers. Specifically, interceptions. Last season, Dallas’s defense grabbed just nine picks total as a team. That ranked a lowly 27th in the NFL.
So who will led the Cowboys in takeaways this upcoming season? My answer is Orlando Scandrick. Dallas’ career-long cornerback battled soft-tissue injuries much of last season after severally injuring his knee in 2015. Now, fully healthy, fans should expect a big year from Orlando.
Not only will the veteran corner have a bounce-back year, he is going to be pivotal on defense and I believe he’ll lead the team in interceptions. I predict Scandrick will have five picks in addition to 4.0 sacks on the year.
I do expect that a few of Scandrick’s fellow defensive backs will compete for the team lead in interceptions.
Chidobe Awuzie the rookie from Colorado just has a knack for being around the ball. Once this shuffle for playing time is sorted out, I expect Awuzie to surprise and shine.
The legend of safety Jeff Heath has continued to grow this summer after having a strong training camp. After having the game of his life in the playoffs against Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Heath is a strong candidate to help create more turnovers.
Another possibility is safety Byron Jones. After a rather disappointing first two years – and only one interception – Jones looks to show the coaching staff he is a true playmaker. Jones is always in position, but hasn’t come down with enough interceptions thus far in his career.
Jones was able to work on his pass-catching ability this summer. He was also one of the main stars on defense in training camp.
Among these four players, I believe Dallas will have a much better year out of their secondary. This isn’t even factoring in corners Anthony Brown, rookie Jourdan Lewis, safety Xavier Woods, or veteran cornerbacks Nolan Carroll and Bene Benwikere. The Cowboys defense will surprise this year.
Dallas needs a big defensive turnaround in the turnover department to get to the Super Bowl. It will be up to these players to provide that spark.