Dallas Cowboys: Chidobe Awuzie will move to safety if…
This needs to happen for the Dallas Cowboys to make Chidobe Awuzie a fulltime safety
According to reports, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to give Chidobe Awuzie a try at safety this season. After three seasons of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, the Dallas Cowboys appear to be making a last-ditch effort to salvage their second pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
A move between cornerback and safety is nothing new for this team. Just three years ago the Cowboys moved Byron Jones, a slightly below average safety, to cornerback. The move resulted in a Pro Bowl bid and a shiny new market-setting contract this year (in Miami).
It’s not beyond the realm of possibility the same could happen for Chido. Like Jones, Chido split time between safety and cornerback in college. And like Jones, Chido’s skills are likely better suited for the position he has yet to play in the NFL.
As reported in the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Cowboys appear to be willing to try Awuzie out at safety this season. If he shows well, they’ll make the move. A recent poll indicated most fans believe he’ll do just that and shine as an NFL safety. In many nickel and dime packages, Chido would fit seamlessly as a third safety/slot corner quite well. His presence on the field doesn’t mean Xavier Woods or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would have to leave. But this doesn’t make his move to safety a sure thing.
Even if Chidobe Awuzie proves to be a better safety than cornerback, the Dallas Cowboys could move him back to cornerback anyway. Why would they purposely move him to the position he’s not as good at?
As discussed last week, the Dallas Cowboys are taking a massive gamble at the cornerback position this season rolling into training camp without a true CB1. Take a look around the NFL. How many contenders do you see who don’t have an obvious No. 1 CB on staff?
If Chido moves from CB to SAF, that problem at the top of the depth chart grows even more. Because then the Cowboys would be without their CB1 AND their CB2 from 2019. So unless someone else steps up and proves to be a suitable CB1 and/or CB2, Dallas may opt to keep Chido at his sub-optimal outside CB position.
With that said, Chido is still a pretty good outside CB. His numbers look ugly from last season but with the exception of a couple horrendous games, Chido was pretty darn good for the Cowboys on film. Given the new scheme changes in Dallas (more trickery and more 2-man), I expect Chido to have a career year regardless of where he plays. He just appears to be a better fit inside the box as a safety/slot CB.
Other CBs are going to have to step up and prove themselves capable of being playoff caliber starters for the Dallas Cowboys to justify Chido switching positions. If Trevon Diggs and Daryl Worley look as good as we’re hoping they will, such a thing is possible. But I’m not sure we should call that outcome “likely”.
Go ahead and flip a coin on Chido’s fate. Even if he really is better suited to play safety, the Dallas Cowboys are going to need to see other cornerbacks step up and play well in his stead.
For Chido to play safety next season guys like Diggs, Jourdan Lewis, Maurice Canady, and Daryl Worley are going to have to prove they can replace him on the outside at CB.