Dallas Cowboys give Nahshon Wright first career start (film breakdown)

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Just months ago the Dallas Cowboys made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Not only did they inexplicably draft an off-ball linebacker with a first round pick (that might have turned out well ~sarcasm~) but they used a precious top-100 pick to select a cornerback who many expected to go undrafted altogether.

It was that pick at 99 that drew universal ire from Cowboys Nation. It was, as the title suggests, the pick of Nahshon Wright.

Nahshon Wright wasn’t a terrible prospect no one had ever heard of. He was TV famous by way of his brother on Last Chance U. He was also unique in stature (see also: He’s 6-foot-frickin’-4) making him an interesting weapon-to-be in the NFL.

Draft twitter knew of him quite well and pegged him for a Cover-1/Cover-3 specialist. His long frame and sideline ability made him an ideal situational boundary cornerback in Dan Quinn’s system.

His high center of gravity made him a liability on some routes since his change-of-direction is considerably below average, but in the right role, playing the right system, he could be a nice little weapon.

Obviously the Dallas Cowboys had bigger expectations or they wouldn’t have drafted him in the top-100. Playing just 17 defensive snaps this season prior to the season finale, no one’s been able to see him live up to (or fall short of) those expectations.

It’s safe to say rookie Nahshon Wright impressed in his Dallas Cowboys starting debut

On Saturday that changed. Wright got the start against Philly last weekend and played a whopping 74 defensive snaps. He showed Cowboys Nation the strengths we hoped for and minimized the impact of those unavoidable weaknesses.

It was nice to see the third round rookie perform, even if it was in a game against mostly reserve players. He thrived on the boundary, handled single-cut slants inside, and even held up against most runs (the running game is never going to be a strength though).

Coming on the heels of another rookie CB’s starting debut, it was a sight to behold and something to build on for the offseason. While Kelvin Joseph established himself as a likely future starter, Nahshon proved he belonged in the mix. That may not sound like much but it’s a heckuvalot more than what many in the draft community gave him when he was first drafted.

Nahshon Wright was impressive in his Dallas Cowboys debut. He wasn’t starter quality and Pro Football Focus sure seemed to hate his game,  but for me, someone who once graded his selection as an “F” for the Cowboys, I walked away from the All-22 pretty darn impressed.

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Kelvin Joseph may get a playoff start at CB for the Cowboys. dark. Next

The Dallas Cowboys are in good shape as they work to build their starting secondary next season. It’s more than just Diggs and Joseph on this roster. Wright needs to be firmly in the CB4 discussion because he showed he belongs in this league.