Dallas Cowboys: 3 Reasons Chidobe Awuzie will be a good safety

Chidobe Awuzie #24 of the dallas cowboys (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Chidobe Awuzie #24 of the dallas cowboys (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Chidobe Awuzie #24 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

1. Chidobe Awuzie WAS a Safety

The idea of Chido playing safety didn’t pop up out of nowhere. Chidobe used to play safety back in Colorado. When the Dallas Cowboys drafted him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft they weren’t 100 percent sold on his final position.

Sure, they wanted him to be the answer at cornerback. After all, positional value says cornerback is considerably more valuable than safety. Teams pay the CB position nearly 50% more than the safety spot. So it makes sense that was where they were pushing from the start.

The truth is, Chido played all sorts of defensive back spots back in college. According to Pro Football Focus, Chido played 266 snaps at left cornerback, 205 at right cornerback, 139 as a box safety, and 298 as a slot safety.

There’s a few things to take away from this:

  • He moved around and played a handful of roles in the secondary.
  • His time was evenly divided between playing outside and inside.
  • He’s wasn’t used as a deep safety but rather close to the line.

While he played more CB snaps than SAF snaps, it’s important to point out the difference between slot CB and box SAF is often minimal. That’s because many times the box safety takes a man coverage role against the slot receiver (and subsequently is relabeled as a slot CB).

Remember Xavier Woods’ rookie season – he played in the box that first year more than he played center field. He was involved in so many man-coverage snaps inside against the slot, he was graded as a slot CB that year.

The same goes for Chido. That’s why the most notable takeaway from his snap breakdown is his time spent inside and outside is virtually the same. We needn’t get too hung up on what snaps are classified as safety and what are classified as cornerback. It’s more of an inside vs outside thing with special gap responsibilities against the run.

It’s not uncommon for the Dallas Cowboys to trot out three safeties at the same time. One or two may end up as glorified slot/nickel CBs, but at the end of the day, it’s just a label.