Why the Dallas Cowboys must draft Derwin James

ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 05: Derwin James
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 05: Derwin James /

With talk of moving Byron Jones back to cornerback, could the Dallas Cowboys target the best safety in this years class Derwin James in the draft? 

Despite the disappointing 9-7 season in 2017, the secondary was one bright spot for the Dallas Cowboys. Young corners Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie played great down the stretch, and Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods also played above average at safety.

Coming into the 2018 draft, you wouldn’t say the secondary is one of Dallas’s biggest needs to address, but with some recent news about Byron Jones may change the narrative.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Dallas Cowboys are considering moving Jones from safety, back to his original position of cornerback.

Since being drafted in 2015, Byron Jones has been solid, but ultimately the Cowboys have been lacing a playmaker at the safety position. Jones is not a guy who takes the ball away much, which is something the Cowboys defense needs to do more of.

If the Cowboys do make a change and move Jones back to corner, this would open up a starting safety spot to be filled this offseason.

Enter Derwin James.

Derwin James is a 6’3, 211 lb 21 year old safety from Florida State University.

In 2017, his redshirt sophomore season at Florida State, James recorded 84 total tackles, 49 solo, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 2 interceptions.

After his outstanding 2017 season James was named a FWAA All-American at safety, and burst onto the scene as a potential first round pick.

James is a freakish athlete. At 6’3 he is a great size for a safety, and also has great quickness and ability to fly around the field and make plays. He is strong, and is able to matchup and jump with big receivers or tight ends down the field.

The 21 year old can play both safety positions. He can be brought down into the box and help in run defense. He can play single high safety and use his speed and ability to get to the sideline in a hurry to make plays. He is big, physical, and can play well in man or zone coverage.

If there is any concern with James, it would be that he missed all but two games of the 2016 season with a season ending knee injury.

Jones is just the type of player the Cowboys need on their defense. Someone who can make plays, and get the ball back for their offense when they need it most. The Dallas defense took the ball away 21 times last season, and this number would most definitely rise if they are able to add James.

With his overall physical skills and freak athleticism, it is almost sure James’s stock will skyrocket once the NFL combine comes around, and it is not likely James will be available at the Cowboys pick 19.

It may cost some picks, but moving up to get Derwin James in the draft would be a great move for the Dallas Cowboys. In my opinion James is in the top three best players in this draft class, and would be the perfect addition to the Dallas defense.

James would instantly add a physical presence to the defense, and makes teams fear his playmaking ability. The Cowboys lack a dynamic playmaking player on their defense, and James would fit this mold perfectly.

If the Cowboys make the move to get James when the draft comes around in April, it will be one of the best the franchise has made in a long time.