Dallas, TX – Many months ago, our insider Matt Thornton had the pleasure of interviewing then Baylor now Cowboys Safety Ahmad Dixon. Dixon became my pet-cat as Bill Parcells would call it soon after I read the interview. What stood out to me other than his passion was his intangibles.
At Baylor, Dixon was always flying around the ball and that most definitely caught the eyes of head coach Art Briles, who referred to Ahmad as a true athlete with a nose for the ball and play-making abilities. He was also given 2013 All American 1st team honors in his senior campaign.
While at College Dixon got in a little trouble. He racked up a misdemeanor assault charge that caused his draft status to fall but also folks had questions surrounding his coverage abilities. So instead Dixon was forced to wait until the 7th round to hear his name called but he couldn’t even speak when he answered the phone and it was Jerry Jones. In fact, you can see the emotion and passion in these videos below.
But enough about passion and emotion, let’s take a look at his highlight film, so you can see his ball skills:
As shown when used correctly Dixon is exactly what Art Briles said he was; a play-maker. It is no secret that after the defensive showing the Cowboys put on last year, play-makers are needed in bunches. Dixon was having a very quiet offseason, where even Baylor homer Nick Eatman was starting to doubt the youngster. That was of course until Last Thursday’s match-up with the San Diego Chargers. Yes, I’m speaking of the game where the Cowboys got throttled 27-7 but that’s not the end here.
Ahmad Dixon was the leading tackler in that game with 11 tackles, a tackle for loss and one pass breakup. Unfortunately he had to leave the game late in the 4th with concussion like symptoms. When praised about his performance, Dixon was humble and confident in the same breath saying that he doesn’t care if it’s preseason, it’s football and he only has one style of play; physical.
Even Barry Church gave praise to the rookie:
“He was coming downhill like a rocket,” safety Barry Church said. “Reminded me of myself a little bit. But he played good. He made a lot of tackles, wrapping up well. He’s just got to get those assignments clear and he’s going to be a good player for us.”
Although Church did admit that he can’t keep leading with his helmet if he’s going to want to have a long career. Ahmad Dixon is a gamer, and it’s clear as crystal to see. He’s never going to be some all-world athlete in practice but when the game begins you better have your head on a swivel or he’ll take it plum off your shoulders.
For the Cowboys, this is a significant plus. Though he certainly could draw a flag or two, his traits are what make him an intriguing player in Rod Marinelli’s defense. Last night, the Chargers running-backs found that out quite a few times. When Dixon was placed in the box, he was absolutely dynamic. He especially jumped out on film when Dixon furiously ran down to the line of scrimmage and stopped the ball-carrier for his first TFL.
He’s still going to have an uphill battle to make the final roster, and will need to improve on his range and coverage abilities. Nonetheless, his play last night went a long way to making his case. Dixon, if cleared could be back on the field for the Cowboys return home to face the Baltimore Ravens next Saturday. After the game, Dixon spoke on the shot he took saying that he felt a lot better and hopes to be back as soon as possible. Something tells me that Dixon will be pushing for more playing time sooner rather than later.