Expectations for Dallas is Super Bowl or bust, but this ESPN analyst believes that fans need to curve their expectations back just a bit.
According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, the Cowboys are projected as the No. 16th best team in the league. As Barnwell navigated all of the teams, he pinpointed their Achilles Heel.
Barnwell believes that the biggest problem or the team is at cornerback. After losing Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins in free agency, Jourdan Lewis is expected to take over as the starter alongside Anthony Brown.
Chidobe Awuzie is a starting contender, but Lewis is the favorite. However, both are not on the Pro Bowl level as Jones, which leads to serious question marks about the team’s secondary.
This should not surprise anyone. This was well talked about all offseason, but there is reason for optimism.
According to Pro Football Focus, Awuzie played 266 snaps at left cornerback, 205 at right cornerback, 139 as box safety, and 298 as a slot safety in college. According to PFF, he moved around various positions and can play outside and inside. Over the last two seasons, he has 18 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks over the course of 27 games. He did a lot of this by blitzing out of the slot/box safety spot. Just think what he can do full time.
However, it’s been reported that the Cowboys are hopeful that Lewis can start at cornerback because there is talk about Awuzie playing at safety.
When Awuzie was drafted, an article by ProFootballTalk illustrated that Awuzie was potentially going to be converted into a safety. According to Dallas Morning News beat writer, Michael Gehlke, that switch is going to happen in the 2020 season.
“Cowboys are seriously exploring moving Chidobe Awuzie from cornerback to safety, sources said. That is one of the multiple position switches that could come on defense in 2020.”
Then again, the Cowboys are contenders for free agent safety Earl Thomas.
The secondary has more questions than answers at this point. We will have to wait and see what happens.