Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys’ eager safety Kavon Frazier focused on health, opportunity


Safety Kavon Frazier is beginning his second season with the Dallas Cowboys.
Safety Kavon Frazier is beginning his second season with the Dallas Cowboys. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Coming out of the 2016 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys were high on sixth-round pick Kavon Frazier.

Now with Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox gone, and a surgically repaired foot nearing 100 percent, the second-year player is expected to be a serious option at safety.

By his account, the Central Michigan standout is up to the challenge.

“I hate to see those guys go, I’ve made a friendship with them and we still keep in touch, but at the same time, I’m excited for the opportunity,” Frazier said. “Right now, with it being OTAs (organized team activities), I’m just trying to do all I can. My foot is 100 percent, but I’m not working in the team drills yet, just a lot of individual stuff as a precaution.”

With the veteran presence gone, keeping the second-year pro Frazier healthy is a priority.

The procedure on his fifth metatarsal was done to keep the injury from exacerbating into a fracture.

According to Frazier, though, it’s not keeping him from getting prepared for training camp and his opportunity.

“Coming out of my rookie year, I can look back and see where I played a little tight at times, a little too nervous and passive,” he said. “When you come out of college, I think a lot of players don’t realize that adapting to the speed of the game, doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to get faster.

“It’s realizing that at this level everyone is just as fast or faster than you and it’s about being confident and playing more aggressive.”

Frazier played in nine regular-season games, mostly on special teams, and finished with six tackles.

So how do the Cowboys assess their roster to get Frazier in-game reps, and is he a potential starter?

Without significant work from last season to go on, looking at who Dallas has now on the roster might reveal a clue.

Byron Jones, Jeff Heath and Robert Blanton are the only safeties with NFL experience.

That leaves Frazier and 2017 sixth-round pick Xavier Woods of Louisiana Tech in the group.

Heath will likely be one of the starters based on comments during the off-season from vice president Stephen Jones.

Heath has started 10 games going into his fifth season with the team, but tends to maximize his play when he’s on the field. Byron Jones started all 16 games for the Cowboys last season with 88 tackles and an interception.

“You’ve got a guy like Jeff Heath who in the biggest game of the year (playoff game vs. Green Bay) probably made more plays on the ball than anyone on the defensive side of the ball that day,” Stephen Jones said. “We talked before free agency ever started that this guy deserves to compete to start.”

The X-factor is Blanton, who came over in free agency after a year with the Buffalo Bills in 2016 and four years with the Minnesota Vikings.

He started all 13 games in 2014 for Minnesota and has 248 tackles and an interception in his five seasons.

With a minicamp next week before training camp in July, it’s a hurry up and wait situation for Frazier.

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