Second-year safety Kavon Frazier should continue to get the bulk of the snaps at free safety for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys needed a boost in their secondary after getting torched by the San Diego Chargers on Thanksgiving, and they decided to bench second-year cornerback Anthony Brown ahead of their Week 13 matchup against the Washington Redskins.
Young cornerback Chidobe Awuzie impressed in his first extended action of the season, and helped provide a much-needed change in the Cowboys’ defensive backfield.
However, it was a second-half defensive backfield adjustment that really stood out in that game. Kavon Frazier started the third quarter in place of third-year man Byron Jones, who has struggled all season long in both coverage and against the run.
In just 21 snaps, Frazier provided an instant upgrade over Jones, bringing a physicality to the position that’s been lacking all year long. The 2016 sixth round pick finished the game with six total tackles, which was good for second on the team behind Anthony Hitchens, who played more than double the snaps.
Frazier has been a force on special teams all season long, and finally got an opportunity to show what he could do on defense. According to Frazier, he’s been ready to show off his skill set all season long.
"“I’ve been waiting on that all year, and now’s the time,” Frazier told The Dallas Morning News. “I think I showed what I can do on the defensive side of the field. I showed that I can come in and lay down the wood. Our defense is based on that, and I do believe it ignites the crowd and everybody feeds on that.”"
While Byron Jones might be the team’s favorite to start due to his former first-round pedigree, the Cowboys need to cut their losses and make a full-time switch to Frazier. Jones might also be more athletically gifted than Frazier, he just doesn’t have the natural instincts required of a true free safety. That much was evident on Josh Docton’s touchdown, where Jone’s raw athletic ability still wasn’t enough to make up for his lack of instincts.
However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be doom and gloom for Jones. With Orlando Scandrick hurt, they’re going to need additional players to man the slot corner position. Jones has proven his versatility, and perhaps it’s in the Cowboys’ best interest to return him to the cornerback position.
Because, frankly, the free safety spot appears to have been filled by a better player.