Despite being drafted in the sixth-round in the 2016 NFL Draft, cornerback Anthony Brown emerged as one of the bright spots for the Cowboys. By the end of last season, Brown was pushed aside towards the bench. What kind of player will Brown be in 2018?
Projected to be a third-round pick, Brown was picked up in the sixth round by the Cowboys and immediately made an impact with the team. One of his earlier highlights was during the first week of training camp where he picked off Tony Romo. They put him right to work in games and he was turning into one of the best slot corners the team had.
In his rookie season alone, he had 8 pass deflections and one interception. He also had 37 tackles and a forced fumble. Despite drafting two corners with high-picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys were confident with Brown keeping a starting position at the slot.
The confidence was draining by 2017. Brown, started out well but penalties were killing him and the team over the course of the season and the rookies behind him were starting to get more playing time. The final nail in the coffin was the Thanksgiving Day Game against the Chargers. Brown was torched by Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers, who posted a 149.1 passer rating along with 434 yards and 3 touchdowns. Brown was benched in favor of rookie Chidobe Awuzie, though Brown would still make positive contributions to the team in a supporting role.
Going into the 2018 season, Brown’s role with the team is now a mystery thanks to Byron Jones moving back to cornerback from safety. As of now, it looks like Jones, Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis will be your starters going into training camp.
For Brown, this will be the perfect opportunity for him to reclaim his position and show the team why they drafted him in the first place. Brown was never a blue-chip player that deserved the starting position, rather a scrapper who worked his butt off to get where he was. With a new secondary coach in place, it could help Brown compete for one of the starting jobs this season.
Regardless, having a talented player like Brown being a backup is another sign of how deep and talented this secondary has become. Just a few years a go it was just a bunch of guys trying their best not to embarrass themselves. Now, the Cowboys have an active competition for a starting job.
As for Anthony Brown, his history says not to count him out yet. We might see the best version of Brown in 2018.
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