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 Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

2. Chidobe Awuzie has the skill set

Looking back on his college tape it’s easy to see where Chido was at his most lethal. While he made some plays on the sideline throughout his career, he made the biggest impact lined up inside and close to the line of scrimmage.

In Chido’s last two seasons at Colorado he racked up 18 tackles for loss and 8 sacks (over 27 games). He did this by blitzing out of the slot/box safety spot. It’s these plays that excited yours truly when the Dallas Cowboys drafted him.

I knew Rod Mainelli’s propensity to blitz defensive backs out of the slot and thought Chido would make a name for himself there. Turns out we never really go to see Chido do what he did best as he was effectively banished to the boundary.

At 6-foot-1, 205 lbs Chido has the size to play this safety/slot hybrid role. On obvious running downs Dallas could bring in a more traditional thumper-type. Note: Donovan Wilson would be very nice in that in-the-box role

2a. And by the way, Chido has ball skills

Whaaaaaa?!?!?! <insert spit take here>

Yes, my friends, Chido has ball skills. It’s important to understand, not all ball skills are created equal. Sitting back in zone and playing the ball while facing the quarterback is considerably different from playing man with your back to the quarterback.

When facing the QB Chido diagnoses plays quickly, baits passers, puts himself in position, and plays the ball in the air. Watching him do this vs watching him play bump-and-chase is almost night and day.

Turning around and locating the ball is a completely different animal. And Chido just isn’t good at that. Will the new scheme Mike Nolan’s bringing to Dallas help? Sometimes, yes, but let’s be clear, this is still a man-heavy coverage team. Look at who Dallas has brought in – a bunch of big long man corners. This isn’t going to be a massive shift for the secondary this year.

Playing more of a zone role inside will take advantage of Chido’s best skills: blitzing and zone ball skills.