The Dallas Cowboys need to make Kavon Frazier a permanent fixture in a young secondary that’s beginning to find its identity.
The time for Kavon Frazier has come, period.
They say that productivity is paramount in the NFL. No matter how you’re built, where you played football in college or where you were drafted, productivity is the common denominator that binds all starting players in professional football.
Among the many issues that have plagued the 2017 Dallas Cowboys, a completely revamped secondary has been arguably the biggest one. Last spring, the Cowboys said goodbye to starting cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr. Dallas also bid farewell to safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox.
Multiple losing streaks this season have triggered some to question Dallas’ decision to let so many veterans go from a defense that already wasn’t exactly dominant. But were the Cowboys really supposed to jack up the salary cap just to keep a bunch of mediocre players, at least one of which was in noticeable decline (Carr)?
Of course not.
So in the last two NFL drafts, the Cowboys have added a total of six secondary players in a massive youth movement that will pay greater dividends than the group that occupied the Dallas secondary for several years starting in 2012. The talent level is higher and the youth is more abundant – hey, a very young secondary helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XXVII in January of 1993, so I’m a believer in this philosophy, provided that there’s blue-chip talent trotting out onto the field.
Safety Kavon Frazier looks like the young player most ready to become a permanent fixture in the Dallas secondary.
Frazier had perhaps his best game as a professional in a Week 13 victory over the Washington Redskins on a Thursday night that seemed more like a funeral going in. Frazier certainly had help from defensive teammates like Anthony Hitchens, but Frazier has come on strong this season and the productivity factor is impossible to miss.
When Frazier isn’t downing a Chris Jones punt inside the 20 yard-line, he’s pasting a punt return man who should have called for a fair catch. Or maybe he’s darting passed opposing blockers to blow up a play in the backfield.
Whatever the case, Frazier has earned more than just cameo appearances on special teams.
Jon Machota of Dallas Morning News grabbed the following comments from Frazier when discussing the second-year player’s impact against the Redskins on national television.
"I’m cold-blooded. I got ice in my veins. Just being out there and being cold-blooded. Not worrying about mistakes, just trying to make the most of it. I always knew I could get out there and deliver some blows, but showing it on national television was definitely a big step."
Frazier doesn’t have the pure athleticism of former Cowboys great Darren Woodson and he doesn’t seem to have the pure power of Roy Williams – yes, the safety.
But if you rolled up Woodson and Williams, you might have Frazier, a player who displays great instincts, adequate speed and the ability to flatten opposing ball carriers.
At 6’0” and 220 pounds, Frazier’s frame is almost exactly the same as that of Williams, at least during the first three-to-four years of the latter’s short but impactful career – the horse-collar tackle was banned from football because the former Oklahoma Sooners star had a knack for injuring opposing players.
When looking at Frazier’s arms, lead pipes come to mind and he’s looking more and more like the enforcer that Dallas has been lacking in the secondary since – well, probably since Williams himself.
This week, The Landry Hat’s own Steve Mullenax asks whether or not first-round pick Byron Jones should be moved to cornerback, and that answer is a resounding Y-E-S. A group of cornerbacks that includes Jones, Orlando Scandrick, Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis looks pretty good moving ahead, even if the first two names in that queue might be short-timers with the Cowboys.
But Frazier should take the strong safety spot and Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath should duke it out for the free safety spot. The coming offseason may bring even more competition to the mix, but Kavon Frazier should have a long-term home in the Dallas Cowboys secondary for years to come.