Dallas Cowboys: Kelvin Joseph’s viability on defense will be apparent quickly

[Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]Jki 121822 Cowboys Jags Cp 65
[Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]Jki 121822 Cowboys Jags Cp 65 /

The Dallas Cowboys track record for second round picks isn’t great. They’ve often taken gambles with these picks and gambles have often blown up in their faces. Kelvin Joseph threatens to be the next name on that illustrious list.

In the 2020 NFL draft the Cowboys were hunting CBs. Picking 10th, they had their list narrowed down – Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn. Since either would make a fine addition at cornerback all there was left to do was sit back and see who would fall to them.

Alas, neither fell. With Horn going eighth and Surtain ninth, the Dallas Cowboys saw their wish list vanish right in front of them. Scrambling to adjust, they traded back two spots, eventually settling on some linebacker named Micah Parsons (that might have worked out).

With the need at CB still severe, the Dallas Cowboys had to focus in on Round 2 to fill their most glaring need. The Plan B scenario led them to take a flyer on the extremely green, yet extremely talented, Kelvin Joseph from Kentucky.

Kelvin Joseph’s issues are between his years and it will be clear early in Dallas Cowboys training camp whether he’s overcome them or not.

Joseph came to Dallas with a track record. He fell out of favor at LSU before he fell out of favor from Kentucky. He only had nine career starts but the former four star recruit showed elite ability against some of college’s best WR talents.

The player known as “Bossman” was a gamble for a team that desperately needed a CB to develop. Since that day, Joseph has logged 330 snaps on defense. In those snaps, he’s performed horrifically.

Did the Dallas Cowboys miss in their scouting?

Not really. Joseph has all the skills to be a great CB in the NFL. His issues are discipline and confidence. Watching his game tape he looks like a different player than the guy in Kentucky. He’s flat footed, slow to react, and neither technically sound nor instinctual. He looks like a guy who just wants to stay close rather than a guy who wants to win the play.

It’s something he could never shake in 2021. Like a hitter with the yips, the only left to do was to put him on ice and hope he can reset. This offseason is hopefully the reset.

With C.J. Goodwin re-signed, the odds are stacked against him. Special Teams was his bread and butter and Goodwin is the ace of the team. Joseph has to show he’s a viable option on defense. Whether that’s at CB or as safety.

Next. Why Kelvin Joseph's days are numbered in Dallas. dark

A former high school safety, KJ may have something to offer. But none of it will matter if he doesn’t get right in the head, apply his fundamentals and allow himself to play with instincts. The Dallas Cowboys will know if he has early in Oxnard.