Re-grading the Dallas Cowboys 2017 draft: Looking back

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 2, Pick #60 – Chidobe Awuzie

If you ask the Cincinnati Bengals, this was a solid draft pick. They unlocked more from Awuzie than Dallas was able to.

The Cowboys used a top-100 pick on the cornerback from the University of Colorado. Depending on what site you subscribe to, the Cowboys were given an “A” for this pick.

He was hyper-athletic and was one of the top cornerbacks in the draft. The fact that he fell to pick 60 was outstanding value for Dallas.

Unfortunately, he never put it all together in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The talent and athletic profile were undeniable, but the coverage awareness was a work in progress.

In his rookie season, injuries stalled his chances of grabbing a starting role immediately. Awuzie was a willing tackler in the defensive backfield when he did get on the field. He totaled 148 solo tackles during his tenure, which isn’t bad. Four interceptions in four years could have been better.

Compared to Dallas’ first-round pick, he did fare better. He made it thru his first contract with Dallas, which is very telling for this overall class.

Awuzie made it thru his rookie contract and turned it into a significant extension. It just wasn’t with Dallas. The Cowboys was out of that market, and I can’t blame them financially.

Over the last 10 second-round draft picks, only two signed extensions with Dallas.

In either case, the selection of Chidobe Awuzie was an upgrade as a 2nd round pick compared to the first round.

He wasn’t a complete crash-and-burn. In the NFL, it is challenging to identify good defensive backs, even those who have flaws. That’s to be expected with a second-round pick to a certain degree.

I’m still passing Dallas here, but with the first two grades, the grade point average would have them facing probation. Not a great start.

Individual Grade: C+