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Mailbag: A Fresh Start For Chido Awuzie?


Seems to me that Chido is always written off by fans, even though the "for" for him is allowing a low completion percentage and an average quarterback rating. What is the downside? Is it far-fetched to say that he is a couple of plays on the ball away from being considered a really good CB? — JJ Solis / Rio Grande Valley, TX

David: The things we say about cornerbacks are a testament to how hard the job is. We did it to Brandon Carr for years, as well. Much like Carr before him, Chido is solid and dependable – but he's not quite there. He doesn't get interceptions, and it always feels like he's one step too late to prevent the big catch. I agree with you. I don't think he's too far off from being a very good cornerback. It's on this coaching staff to teach him to make plays on the ball and to put him in a position to succeed. Remember this: Byron Jones was a disappointing first-round pick, and coaching helped turn him into an All-Pro. Here's hoping this new coaching staff can manage something similar with Chido.

Rob: To Dave's point, the Cowboys are excited about bringing in Al Harris to work with their young cornerbacks. That includes Awuzie, who's still just 25 years old. There were games last year where opposing quarterbacks threw his way a lot, and that partly had to do with Byron Jones holding down the other side of the field. There have been reports about Awuzie possibly moving to safety because the Cowboys drafted two cornerbacks, but I actually think his experience would give him an edge early because the rookies haven't had any on-field work to this point. He's got the talent to finish more plays, and if the pass rush improves, it would help everyone in the secondary.

If one of the three starting wide receivers goes down with injury, who do you see as the full time next man up? — Jim Whatley / Henderson, TX

David: If I have to answer that question in June, I'm going with Devin Smith. He's got the most experience among this group, and he's got legitimate playmaking ability on the outside. Depending on who got hurt, I'd move someone else inside and put Smith on the outside. Having said that, if one of the Big 3 actually suffered a big injury, I wouldn't be surprised if the Cowboys looked for his replacement outside their own roster.

Rob: In settling the rest of the receiver depth chart, one deciding factor might be special teams, because that's where Ventell Bryant and Cedrick Wilson got the nod over Smith on most game days last year. But Devin Smith is the oldest and arguably the most talented receiver in the group after the top three. He and Bryant are the only returning receivers not named Amari Cooper or Michael Gallup to catch a touchdown pass last year.

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