With the recent release of veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing with their youth movement with their defensive back group. The team made the decision to purge out the veterans for a young group that includes Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. The recent hiring of Kris Richard away from Seattle to become DB coach in Dallas could also result with Byron Jones moving back to cornerback.
Should that be the case, the team may turn their attention to add quality depth at safety. Xavier Woods showed strides in his rookie season as the possible free safety of the future. Dominick Sanders of Georgia is another player that could step in and provide some big play ability. Sanders is a player that seems to be a ball magnet. He recorded 19 turnovers during his four years in Athens, Georgia.
Height: 5’ 11 ¼”
Hand size: 9 ¼”
Arm length: 30 5/8”
Bench: 14 reps
Fr: 13 Games, 25 Solo, 34 Tackles, 0.5 Sacks, 1.5 TFL, 1 FR, 3 INT
So: 13 Games, 25 Solo, 48 Tackles, 1 Sacks, 5.0 TFL, 0 FR, 6 INT
Jr: 13 Games, 23 Solo, 34 Tackles, 0.5 Sacks, 6.0 TFL, 2 FR, 3 INT
Sr: 15 Games, 23 Solo, 40 Tackles, 0.0 Sacks, 3.5 TFL, 0 FR, 4 INT
Total: 54 Games, 96 Solo, 156 Tackles, 2.0 Sacks, 16 TFL, 3 FR, 16 INT
What makes Sanders so special is the ability to read the quarterback and the play developing in front of him. Sanders reacts to what he sees and breaks on the ball. He has the ability to high point the ball and come down looking to make a big play. He also returned two turnovers (one interception, one fumble recovery) for touchdowns. His lateral agility is a big part of his game, which gives him an advantage when closing on plays.
As an undersized safety (in terms of how his physical profiles fits the team), Sanders struggles in the physical aspects of playing in the defensive backfield. He will struggle to shed blockers, especially with more physical receivers and blockers. He has poor tackling techniques with failures to always wrap up ball carriers. Coaches will need to focus on tackling fundamentals.
Given his affinity for creating turnovers, Sanders would be a perfect fit for a team that struggles with creating turnovers. Sanders doesn’t always come down with the ball but his passes broken up plays will begin to rack up which is another benefit of his ball hawking abilities.
Since the Dallas Cowboys like to find secondary talent on day three, add Dominick Sanders to the watch list. Sanders likely won’t be more than a rotational piece rather than an every down star, but he can make his mark for this team.
Should the Cowboys continue to use draft picks to solidify their young secondary or is it time to look at other needs? Share your thoughts with Patrick on Twitter @DraftCowboys.