While the first couple of waves of free agency have passed, it’s never too late to upgrade the roster, something the Cowboys will try to do at the end of this month with the NFL Draft.
Even with that, the majority of the 2018 roster is already in place. In the coming weeks, the staff of DallasCowboys.com will preview those players, analyzing where they’ve been and where they’re going.
Today, we continue the series with safety Kavon Frazier.
Views of #35 Safety Kavon Frazier from the 2017-18 Regular Season.
What’s Been Good:
The fact that Frazier, drafted No. 212 overall back in 2016, is heading into his third season with the Cowboys is proof of how good he has been to this point. It’s not uncommon for a sixth-round pick to be cut during his rookie season, so for Frazier to successfully navigate two years is impressive. The key to that is special teams, where he has emerged as one of the Cowboys’ most dependable contributors. Frazier tied for the team lead in special teams tackles, with 10 last year, and was a standout performer on many of the Cowboys’ special teams units.
What’s Been Bad:
It’d be unfair to say that a sixth-round pick has been bad, to this point. Frazier hasn’t been asked to play much of a role on defense to this point in his career. When he has, he’s been good more often than not. It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys view Frazier as a true safety. Does he have the coverage skills to play deep, or is he more of a box safety who needs to play closer to the line of scrimmage? It’s hard to say right now, but that’s something the coaching staff will have to figure out if they expect Frazier to play more than 21 percent of the snaps this season.
Perhaps Frazier’s best moment of 2017 came in his biggest opportunity so far. After a horrendous 28-6 loss to the Chargers on Thanksgiving, the coaching staff through caution to the wind and put their young defensive backs into the mix. As a result, Frazier got to play 21 snaps of defense in the Nov. 30 game against Washington, after playing just 26 snaps in the month prior to that. He made the most of it, racking up six stops in just 21 snaps – including a fantastic tackle on Redskins running back Samaje Perine. He played 18 snaps of special teams, for good measure.
It remains to be seen if the Cowboys draft a safety this spring, but we know they didn’t add one in free agency. With that in mind, it certainly looks like Frazier is going to have a heck of an opportunity in 2018. Jeff Heath is a presumed starter, but Byron Jones appears to be headed for cornerback. That leaves Frazier and Xavier Woods as the only other safeties on the roster. It stands to reason that a successful training camp could see either player claim a sizable role for himself – perhaps even the starting role. And even if that’s not the case, we know the Cowboys like to use as many as three safeties at times in their defense. If Frazier plays his cards right, it’s conceivable to think he could earn his biggest role to date – or potentially even become a starter heading into his third NFL season.
- Without a doubt one of the most physical players on the squad.
- Core special teamer that likely will get an opportunity to compete for a starting assignment with Byron Jones moving to corner.
- Brings toughness to the position. Downhill player. When he sees it, he will react. He can work through the trash to get to the ball and he is a wrap up tackler.
- When he hits the ball carrier, they stop in their tracks.
- He has to be careful not to be too aggressive, though. He will over shoot tackles.
- For a bigger guy, he moves well. He can play down in the box or deep. When used in coverage, he is mainly down.
- You will see him occasionally walk outside and play out of the slot. But I could see him improving as a cover man the more opportunities that he will get.