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Mailbag: How Many Corners Could Play Safety?


There's been so much talk about the Cowboys possibly moving one of their cornerbacks to safety. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but how many players on the current roster do you think are capable of playing both, and could we even see players shift back and forth at those two spots based on matchups in what could be more of a 'multiple' defense this year? – JOE COOK / JACKSON, MS

David: The number is probably higher than you think. Chidobe Awuzie has never played safety in the NFL, but he did spend time there in college. The Cowboys' front office also singled out Reggie Robinson's versatility after the draft. Daryl Worley spent time at safety last year for the Raiders. And don't forget the fact that Xavier Woods played some slot corner during his rookie season. There's plenty of versatility among this group, and it would definitely be fun if the coaching staff took advantage of it.

Jonny: Well, Daryl Worley has played NFL snaps at safety, so he certainly could if needed. Trevon Diggs started his college career at safety, but I think it's pretty safe to say the Cowboys plan to develop him solely at cornerback. I do think that Chido Awuzie has the skill set and physical abilities to play wherever you put him. I don't know if Dallas is considering trying that out or if he's open to it, but I wouldn't pigeonhole his talent.

With new head coach Mike McCarthy stating that he drafts the best players and fits the scheme to the talent, does that mean that the scheme could change some year to year, or was he only referring to his first draft? – JOHN GORRIE / ROWLETT, TX

David: I'd certainly like to think so, but let's get a larger sample size. With all due respect to Mike McCarthy, drafting CeeDee Lamb was a no-brainer that anyone could've figured out. For the record, I absolutely think Jason Garrett would have been on board with drafting Lamb. Let's see what it looks like when the choices aren't as obvious. I do think McCarthy has a more flexible mindset about the talent he is willing to bring into his team, but I'm curious to see what that looks like over a number of years.

Jonny: You could interpret it that way. It certainly suggests flexibility. But I imagine that McCarthy isn't implying that he likes to make major changes based on who he might draft. I sort of read that as him preferring to have a system that can be tweaked in small ways depending on what a player can do. It's likely a meet-me-halfway sort of thing. He doesn't want to waste a player's talent because he's stubborn in his ways, but the player should also be open to trying things he didn't do as much under previous coaches.

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