*Editor's Note: Throughout the off-season, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will take a closer look at the roster, analyzing players' impact last season and how each fits into the team's 2014 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features cornerback B.W. Webb.*
Name: B.W. Webb
Experience: 1 season
College: William & Mary
Key stat:Webb appeared in 15 games as a rookie, the most since linebacker Victor Butler played in all 16 games as a rookie in 2009.
Contract Status:Signed through 2016.
2013 Impact:I understand I am a minority when it comes to what we saw from B.W. Webb's rookie season. I am not trying to blow smoke or sell a player that can't play, but this kid does have talent and has the ability to play.
I knew when Akwasi Owusu-Ansah first stepped foot at Valley Ranch, that he was going to struggle as a player -- his tape showed me that. There will be those comparisons of Webb to Owusu-Ansah, but the only comparisons should be that both came from small college programs. Where Webb had his issues was that he didn't take advantage of the talent he has.
I can't begin to tell you how many times while he was in college, where he did play with perfect technique and was able to deny the receiver the ball. You didn't see him three to four yards off, trying to rally back to the play. This is why he was drafted in the spot he was. There is quickness and speed to his game, but unless he uses those traits, he might as well be Owusu-Ansah.
He was not nearly aggressive enough and played with far more cautious technique instead of getting up on his man like he did at William & Mary and taking that receiver out of the play. Webb made it too easy on receivers to catch the ball on him because he wasn't a sure or confident player. To play corner in this league, you have to have a keen awareness of what receivers are trying to do to you but you also have to have the guts to battle those same receivers all day.
From what I had seen from B.W. Webb in college, I expected a better player right out of the gate but like the other cornerbacks on this team other than Orlando Scandrick, he needs to find a way to get his game back on track.
Where He Fits: Webb will be the fourth cornerback going into camp and will do his best to compete for some time in nickel and dime packages for Rod Marinelli. In order to do this, he will need to prepare himself mentally and physically, so this offseason will be huge for him.
As I mentioned before, he has the physical traits of speed and quickness, but where he really needs to improve is with more weight to become stronger. I believe one of the reasons that he played with cautious technique was that he was afraid that he was going to get bullied by receivers and he wasn't confident that he could hold up.
With a season of experience under his belt and a spring in the weight room, he has a chance to make himself a better player, which he can do.
David Helman: The Cowboys' 2013 draft class has drawn a lot of praise, namely for the immediate impact made by Travis Frederick and Terrance Williams, and the unlooked-for contributions of DeVonte Holloman. Webb's performance as a rookie isn't likely to earn the same glowing reviews. Injuries in the secondary pushed Webb onto the field in 15 of 16 games, where he struggled to catch up to the speed of the NFL passing game – particularly as an inside corner. Webb was also touted as a punt returner coming out of college, but Dwayne Harris' excellence in that position kept the rookie off the field. One season isn't enough to make or break any rookie's career, but the burden of proof is now on Webb to show he can progress going forward.