Once upon a time the Dallas Cowboys had a promising young cornerback who stood out in training camp. Playing a position of need that year, he faced fierce competition and was projected by many as one of the top players in his position group.
Yet, instead of awarding him with a spot on the 53-man roster, the Dallas Cowboys decided to trade him and keep more proven and/or pedigreed cornerbacks on the roster instead. Three years later, Dallas is still looking for their cornerback while the man they traded has been starting on 1x World Champion, Kansas City Chiefs.
Reggie Robinson looks a whole lot like that player the Dallas Cowboys gave up on three years ago, Charvarius Ward
Reggie Robinson, Dallas’ fourth round pick in 2020, came to Dallas with hype and fanfare. Dubbed, a “scouts pick”, the Cowboys coaching staff didn’t embrace the Tulsa corner quite so warmly and promptly moved him to safety where he was never seen from again (Ok, we saw him but the kid was buried).
The 6-foot-1 205lb CB with 31 ½ inch arms was exactly what Dallas look for in a boundary cornerback. Which is why the position shift was such a head scratcher. He’s explosive and fast. Big, strong, and long. The perfect developmental prospect for the Cowboys.
Hence why fans and scouts alike, were pleased to hear Robinson was moving back to his natural position of cornerback. The only problem now is the log-jam at the position may lead the Cowboys to “pull a Charvarius” and dispatch a very viable long-term solution, all for the sake of immediate need and temporary veteran suturing.
Reggie Robinson has been flashing a little in camp this year. The rookies Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright are drawing the headlines, and veterans Maurice Canady and Anthony Brown are earning the praise of coaches, but Robinson is making statements himself.
I want to be clear here – Reggie Robinson and Charvarius Ward are very different players. Ward was/is a play-it-safe, sure-tackling kinda blue collar cornerback while Robinson is more a higher-risk/higher-reward physical coverman who we’re used to seeing as a prospect. The similarities between the two isn’t in the brand of football they play, but rather the situation they face(d) on the Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys are in win-now mode and just reshuffled the deck at CB. Trevon Diggs, Joseph and Wright all figure into the long-term future. And Brown, Lewis, and Canady all offer the veteran stability a contender needs. That doesn’t leave much room for a promising guy like Robinson. Especially not since C.J. Goodwin is pretty much guaranteed a CB spot based on his importance on Special Teams.
Reggie Robinson isn’t the obvious budding star CB that makes him a lock. He was excellent at Tulsa in man-press coverage but he was far too physical, drawing eight penalties in 2019 alone. That won’t fly in the pros.
But his profile clearly shows he has plus awareness and elite high ball skills. His 13 deflections and three interceptions are a great indicator of what he can do when the ball is in the air. Robinson has skills you can’t teach: size, speed, ball skills. That’s what makes him such an intriguing prospect.
Sadly, it’s going to be tough to make the roster based on the way things look right now. Perhaps if Joseph keeps turning heads in camp, Dallas will decide to save money and drop Anthony Brown. Dumping him or Lewis would open a developmental spot for Robinson, but would only be possible if one of the young guys steps up and claims a starting gig.
Whatever happens, the last thing we want to see is another Charvarius Ward situation, where the Cowboys drop a player, only to see him thrive elsewhere.
What would you do at CB for the Dallas Cowboys?