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4th Round Pick Webb Has Promise At Nickel Back, Punt Returner


IRVING, Texas – To the surprise of no one, the thrill of being drafted into the NFL doesn't wear off after 24 hours, or even a full weekend.

Newest Dallas Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb can attest to that, as the Newport News, Va., native said he's still trying to wrap his mind around it four days later.

"It's been exciting. I still don't really think it settled in that I got drafted to America's Team," Webb said. "Everybody's been happy for me around here; it's just been a great time."

Webb still has a little bit of time to adjust to the news. The former William & Mary All-American doesn't report to rookie minicamp until May 9, nearly two weeks away. That doesn't mean he is taking that time off, however. Webb said that since he has been drafted, he's been in touch with Cowboys coaches to get a game plan for the coming workouts. As head coach Jason Garrett noted following the draft, Webb's résumé on the field makes him stand out more than the typical FCS player.

"All the time as coaches and as evaluators and our scouting department, you're looking for guys who are ball players. I think that's what we've seen in B.W. Webb," Garrett said. "He was very productive a couple of years ago intercepting passes. They didn't throw at him as much last year, but he's a guy who just shows up on the table."

It's not always expected for a fourth rounder like Webb, who was selected 114th overall, to contribute upon his arrival at the next level. But with three years of All-America consideration in the Colonial Athletic Association, Webb said the Cowboys' staff hopes to see him on the field immediately – though not necessarily at starting cornerback. 

"Right now, they're pretty much established at cornerback with [Brandon] Carr and [Morris] Claiborne," he said. "They want me to come in and be a starting nickel back and play a role in the punt return game. That's pretty much going to be my role."

As one of the Tribe's top players in college, Webb spent most of his career closing down his half of the field as an outside corner. He nabbed a career-high eight interceptions during his freshman season, though that number tapered off as teams learned to avoid him.

"At times, it gets boring during the games, but you just have to find ways to show up during the game, whether it's coming up to make tackles or contributing on special teams," he said.

Webb said the amount of space given for a slot receiver to work with makes the nickel spot markedly different from the outside. But given the offseason to work on the change, he feels confident he can adapt.

"Everything happens a little quicker inside," he said. "The receiver has two ways to go, whereas on the outside you can pretty much tell where he's going right away, whether it's out or in." [embedded_ad]

As noted, Webb also figures to at least provide some competition to incumbent punt returner Dwayne Harris. The second-year Cowboys receiver averaged 16 yards per return on 22 attempts last year. Webb was a return man for the Tribe all four years, and averaged 8.6 yards per return for his career, with a best average of 11.2 coming in 2012.

"I love having the ball in my hands. I started punt returning my freshman year, so I started every year and came to love it," Webb said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge."

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