The Dallas Cowboys are known for their ball hawking. Trevon Diggs leads the NFL with nine, I repeat, NINE, interceptions. And defenders like Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and Damontae Kazee have added highlight interceptions of their own this year.
The Dallas Cowboys are now gaining a reputation for being a team you don’t errantly throw on because this is a team that will make you pay for your recklessness. The Cowboys proved that once again Thursday, pulling in four interceptions and introducing their newest ballhawk to the league – Carlos Watkins.
Carlos Watkins became the Cowboys newest ballhawk, running at speeds of nearly 18 mph enroute to his first career “thick-6”.
Taysom Hill never stood a chance. The dynamic Saints quarterback was outmatched (and outmassed) in the race to the endzone. The splint-fingered signal caller is known to be one of the most explosive runners in the NFL. But he was no match for Cowboys ballhawk extraordinaire, Carlos Watkins.
Watkins, standing a lean 6-foot-3, 300lbs, had Hill right where he wanted him. Like a lion ready to pounce on a grazing gazelle, Watkins waited, watched, and attacked. On 2nd-and-10, late in the fourth quarter, he rose from the weeds and shot his shot, leaping to steal away a pass, and taking it roughly 30-yards for his first career Pick-6…excuse me…”Thick-6.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing and high-steps, though. Watkins had to earn it. All of those hours spend in the offseason speed training would be put to test when Watkins went head-to-head with Taysom Hill.
Calculating the speed of his pursuer and the angle for success, Watkins only needed to do one thing to ensure he hit pay-dirt: run like hell.
And like hell he ran.
According to Next Gen Stats, Watkins hit a top speed of 17.26 mph (the second fastest speed of his career). Knowing he needed over 18 mph to beat Hill, Watkins reached in his bag of tricks and pulled out the dreaded stiff-arm.
His elite speed combined with his unstoppable stiff arm were too much for Hill, and a glorious victory for the Cowboys’ newest play-maker.
Watkins’ TD marked a glorious victory for what is traditionally not a very glamourous position. Interior defensive linemen rarely seen opportunities such as these so it was heartwarming (and hilarious) to see it seal the victory for the Cowboys on Thursday.
With Brent Urban officially out for the season, the Cowboys need guys like Watkins to step up inside.
Who’s the next defensive lineman to pull in a thick-6 for Dallas?