In our continuing look at intriguing Cowboy’s players leading up to training camp, here’s an under the radar guy and one who we can probably say is almost a forgotten man. He started ten games last year as a rookie and did a solid job overall stepping in and up, for Mo Claiborne. That would be Anthony Brown, our 6th round selection in 2016 out of Purdue. As any CB he took a few hits over the course of the season, the holding call against Green Bay may still be stuck in our minds. For a rookie he looked good out there, with teams targeting him in any number of games and with minimal damage. He has 4.35 speed, which obviously puts him in rarified company and an answer to a coaches prayers. He tied for second on the Cowboys secondary for number of INT’s last year, with one pick. Alright, he was tied with seven other teammates for that spot, which shows a glaring need for play makers on the back end.
Anthony also had eight passes defended, with most of those coming in the 2nd half of the season, as he got a little more comfortable & aggressive. Given that the Cowboys drafted Awuzie, Lewis & White all at corner, where does Brown fit in this year? The team signed Nolan Carroll to a 3 year deal before the draft and figures into the team plans and #32 will also man the back end at CB. Thank about that for a moment and we’ll discuss that a little later.
In watching Brown last year, it appeared that he was playing cautiously at times, not to give up the big plays. Thought he could have been more aggressive in pressing his man and getting a little more physical whenever possible. These two clips show us different characteristics that were impressive. In the first one, it was a preseason game, granted, but Anthony set the play up beautifully. A fourth down play, whereby the slot receiver was opting for a short out for a first down. He saw it, baited and waited on Weedon and took it in stride for a TD. You have to like his awareness of the situation, position on the field and how he hung in position until it was time to pounce. His speed did the rest. The second one was against the NYG and Eli. Brown was on Victor Cruz, an old nemesis, man on man, no help from any linebackers and none from a safety. He kept Cruz in front of him and when Eli released the ball, Brown put his foot in the ground and drove on the ball for the INT. It was a huge play, one which kept us in a 10-7 game. The Giants were inside the Cowboys 25 yard line, making this a play that likely took points off the board.
His athleticism in getting these two picks are a missing piece, to the recipe, this team needs to add another championship to the trophy case. Getting only one pick in the regular season shouldn’t excite us, but how he used his speed and athleticism in doing so, that should impress us. Now we just need to see more of that.
Where does he fit on the team now, with the addition of the New Kids on the Block? Ultimately, I see him taking on one of the outside corner spots, if not this year, then next. Can he outplay Carroll, who they just signed or Orlando Scandrick, in camp this year? There are many rumors swirling around Orlando, as feisty a player as there is and one who isn’t handing over a position to anyone without a fight. With Brown, Awuzie & Lewis, the Cowboys will be well stacked at CB for the foreseeable future. The secondary has all the makings of being special, be it this year or next with the infusion of new & talented blood.
After watching these clips you should love that Brown can actually catch the ball without issue, a problem some of the recently departed struggled with. If we want “rings”, we need guys on the back end that can grab a few picks. The talent & ability is there in Brown to get that part of the job done. He was my “Pet Cat” last season and he did a solid job, especially for a 6th round pick. Good things lie ahead for Anthony Brown, if he’s not forgotten! That won’t happen on my watch!