In my article last week, I discussed the notion that Safety should not be the number one priority during the draft for the Dallas Cowboys, and they should not use a safety pick in rounds one and two. However, I do believe every position can always use an upgrade, and drafting a safety, at the right time, does make sense for Dallas.
I think the Cowboys can find ample safety talent in later rounds, after they draft defensive lineman, and one guy who might be a great fit for Dallas is Baylor University safety Ahmad Dixon.
The Waco, Texas born Ahmad D’shaad Dixon went to Midway High School in Hewitt, Texas where he was a blue chip local recruit and was named an All-American defensive back, rated No. 15 nationally on ESPNU 150 by ESPN.com.
Dixon selected Baylor as his college of choice where he has exhibited significant versatility playing his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons in the nickleback/”Bear” role, which is a hybrid safety/linebacker position, before staring at safety his senior year garnering first team All-American honors.
For his Baylor career, Ahmad made 288 career tackles, 12 pass breakups, four interceptions, was invited to play in the 2014 Senior Bowl, and was a member of the senior class that played in four straight bowl games for the first time in school history. Dixon’s 2013 team also won Baylor’s first Big 12 Championship and BCS Bowl berth.
A physical player, the 6 foot, 205-pound Dixon excels playing at the line of scrimmage and stuffing the run. He will lower the boom on opponents and plays with a mean streak, not afraid to stick his nose into the pile to make a tackle. Some say he’s a little too nasty on the field. One example of his aggressiveness is that he was suspended for the first half of Baylor’s game against Texas because he was ejected from the previous game for targeting the head of TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin.
In addition to being an explosive hitter at the line of scrimmage, Dixon is an extremely fast player who’s been timed at 4.39 in the 40 yard dash and has shown good coverage skills. In my exclusive interview on Sunday, I asked Dixon about his abilities in the secondary and he said,
“I can cover sideline to sideline no problem.” He continued, “I like to use my quickness to undercut receivers and get the interception.”
During the Senior Bowl this past January, coaches had him playing both safety and free safety. Baylor does not run much man-to-man coverage, so Dixon is very comfortable in a zone defensive scheme and would fit well in Cowboys defensive coordinate Rod Marinelli’s zone coverage Tampa-2 defense.
Dixon is projected to go anywhere between the second and fourth rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft, and when I asked where he felt like he would be drafted he chuckled saying, “I want to of course go in the first round, but I will be blessed if I go in the second or third round too. I will be happy to be drafted into the NFL. Playing in the NFL is my number one goal.”
The prospect of being a Dallas Cowboy brought a smile to Dixon’s face when I queried about what it would mean to him and his family if the Cowboys drafted him. He replied, “My late grandma Thelma Scott was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. She loved the Cowboys. I think if I was to be drafted by Dallas, she would be looking down from heaven and smiling.”
While the Cowboys need to focus on rebuilding their defensive line in the draft, the prospect of a hard hitting, tough-minded, sub 4.4 40 safety guarding Dallas’ secondary is an appealing notion to many Cowboys fans. If Ahmad Dixon were to fall to the third or fourth round and Dallas grabbed him, he might be the type of impact player who could immediately improve the Cowboys defense.
Big thanks to DCTrueBlue for the Ahmad Dixon photograph and edit. You can follow and see more of his work on Instagram @DCTrueBlue_ or Twitter @DCTrueBlue_
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