The Cowboys are working Chidobe Awuzie at cornerback for now, but some in the organization believe the second-round pick might be a better fit at safety long term.
It was the University of Colorado’s position flex that attracted the Cowboys to Awuzie in the first place. Awuzie started at free safety, strong safety, in the slot and at outside corner during his college career.
“We see him as a corner right now, but as a corner who could potentially play some safety,” secondary coach Joe Baker said. “The nice thing about him is he’s got the intelligence to handle it all, so that’s what you also look for as well as the toughness.
“He’s got all those factors that say, ‘Hey, this guy could go do it [at safety].’ Right now we’d like to see what he can do at corner first.”
Awuzie’s length was a concern for some scouts when evaluating him as a NFL cornerback. His arms measure only 30 5/8 inches, the shortest among the highest-rated cornerback prospects in the 2017 draft. By comparison, Marshon Lattimore (31¼), Marlon Humphrey (32¼) and Gareon Conley (33) offered more length.
The Cowboys are giving Jeff Heath the first shot at the starting strong safety spot opened by the departures of Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. But Awuzie could compete for that job if the Cowboys are comfortable at cornerback with Orlando Scandrick, Anthony Brown, Nolan Carroll and draft picks Jourdan Lewis and Marquez White.
“Obviously, I feel like I can play all three [positions] at an elite level, so I think that’s one of the reasons they picked me [was] my versatility,” Awuzie said.