Dallas Cowboys: Why the secondary will only get better

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 30: Chidobe Awuzie
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 30: Chidobe Awuzie /

 During the Dallas Cowboys’ three game losing streak, the defense has given up 92 points. Yet their young secondary has shown they have a bright future.

When the Dallas Cowboys lost three games in a row, the defense played awful. The defense missed tackles, dropped easy interceptions, blew assignments, and didn’t  apply much pressure and sack the opposing quarterbacks.

Of course, not having defensive quarterback Sean Lee on the field hurt the Cowboys defense tremendously. Regardless, the defense was simply pathetic.

During the Cowboys’ losing streak, the only glimmer of hope was the Cowboys young secondary. You could see flashes of talent, whether it was a player making hard hit or running step for step with an elite receiver.

The Cowboys secondary proved a point as it dominated the Washington Redskins 38-14. After witnessing the Cowboys secondary play at an elite level, its safe to say this young defensive backfield will only get better.

And when I say better, I’m referring to future Pro Bowlers.

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Kavon Frazier, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Xavier Woods are the future of the Cowboys secondary. I affectionately call them the quad squad.

As I watched the game, I was beyond impressed with all four of them. First, I’ll heap praise on Awuzie for his outstanding play.

Chidobe Awuzie

I’m not saying bench Jeff Heath, but what I am saying is give Frazier more snaps. Let’s be honest, Frazier played better way better than Heath has played at any time this season.

Awuzie missed several games because of a bad hamstring, but he played like a seasoned veteran as he covered the Redskins wide receivers with ease, deflected passes, and made tackles like a mad man. The most impressive thing about Awuzie’s play are his coverage skills and his ability to play the ball in the air.

Awuzie easily covered Redskins receivers Josh Doctson and Ryan Grant. On two particular plays, Awuzie was able to knock the ball out of Doctson’s hands. If not for Awuzie’s ability to play the ball and use his closing speed, both of those passes would’ve been first downs for the Redskins.

Remember, Doctson has blazing speed, but Awuzie covered him like a blanket.  Also,Awuzie used proper technique in defending Doctson. Because of this, Doctson was a non-factor in the game.

Another impressive trait of Awuzie is that he’s an excellent tackler and not afraid to lay the wood. When you add in Awuzie’s tackling ability, the Cowboys have themselves a legitimate cornerback. I understand he’s a rookie and will make mistakes, but this coaching staff is very impressed with play making abilities.

Kavon Frazier

Frazier might be the strong safety this team desperately needs. Frazier played in the box and hit so hard it seemed like he was shot out of a cannon. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of Dallas’ safeties hit like Frazier (Darren Woodson).

With Frazier been an aggressive tackler and taking the right angles, Dallas should give him more snaps and put him in the box. Frazier set the tone with his hard hits. Frazier played so well that Jones was sent to the bench to start the second half.

I realize that Frazier is good in the running game and will need more work in the passing game. However, his presence is felt on the field and he attacks the runner like no one else in the secondary.

That’s what this defense needs more than anything, someone who knows how to hit and make plays. After witnessing the Cowboys secondary look helpless trying to tackle Keenan Allen of the San Diego Chargers, it was a relief to see a player do some hard hitting.

Dallas should definitely put Frazier in the line up, especially on first and second downs. I can foresee  a scenario with Frazier playing strong safety, with Jones as the free safety.

I’m not saying bench Jeff Heath, but what I am saying is give Frazier more snaps. Let’s be honest, Frazier played better way better than Heath has played at any time this season.

Eventually, Frazier will replace Heath, especially if he continues playing at a high level.

Related Story: Flashback: Why Frazier, not Heath, is the perfect replacement to Church

Jourdan Lewis

Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods are very talented and skillful defensive backs. Since the Denver Broncos game, Lewis has shown he can play the corner position. Lewis has good covering skills and a knack for the ball.

Plus Lewis is a really good tackler, and knows how to wrap up a player in the process.

Lewis’ athleticism is one reason why he’s started so many games this season. Although Lewis gave up the game-winning touchdown against the Green Bay Packers, he played a really good game. I put the blame on the defensive scheme more than I do Lewis.

Besides, Aaron Rodgers can and will do that to the best corners in the league.

Woods is another up and coming defensive back that plays good whenever he gets on the field. Like his counterparts, Woods is a really good tackler and has a nose for the ball. Simply put, Woods knows how to play the game. Sure, he’s a rookie that’s made some mistakes, but you can see his natural ability to play the position.

Xavier Woods

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For a player with has two starts to his credit, Woods has recorded one interception, defended three passes, and recovered one fumble. It may not be anything to brag about. But…

It’s a sign of good things to come for a player that recorded 14 career interceptions at Louisiana Tech University. That’s why Dallas drafted Woods in the first place.

I didn’t forget about Anthony Brown, either. Brown was benched, but he did intercept a deflected pass in the Redskins game, atoning for his miserable game against the Chargers.

I still believe in Brown, a player that’s going to be good. He’s only in his second year, so he’s going to make mistakes. He’s not a bad player at all. This is the NFL and players are going to have their ups and downs.

Benching Brown will only make him better and more focused as he watches the “quad squad” perform at an elite level.

Next: Can the Cowboys afford to keep injury-prone Sean Lee?

But Brown is in this promising group of defensive backs, too, because he proved it last season as a rookie.

With growing pains comes success. And that’s why Dallas’ secondary will only get better.