Dallas Cowboys

Anthony Brown demoted as Cowboys looking to bolster secondary

Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown, center, running into teammate Xavier Woods as Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams scores on Thursday, has lost his starting job.
Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown, center, running into teammate Xavier Woods as Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams scores on Thursday, has lost his starting job. Special to the Star-Telegram

The Dallas Cowboys’ secondary is coming off its worst performance of the season against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday, and the coaching staff is making changes to it.

It starts with left cornerback Anthony Brown being demoted from a starting job. Rookie Chidobe Awuzie is the leading candidate to start in Brown’s place, although Awuzie has missed more than half the games with a hamstring injury.

Awuzie played just five of 68 defensive snaps against the Chargers, but is a highly-touted defensive back that the Cowboys used their second-round pick on last spring.

“Haven’t made any final determination about roster spots, but we’re going to create some competition on the team,” coach Jason Garrett said.

It’s needed after a dreadful performance against Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers. Rivers threw for 434 yards on 27-of-33 passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Chargers had 11 explosive plays on the Cowboys.

Along with Awuzie, Garrett mentioned rookie Jourdan Lewis and Bene Benwikere as candidates to start and get more snaps at cornerback.

“Rotate guys around and just see how they respond,” Garrett said.

Brown, a sixth-round pick out of Purdue last season, impressed as a rookie. He started 10 of 16 games and was credited with one interception and one forced fumble.

Brown has started 10 of the Cowboys’ first 11 games this season, but hasn’t played well of late. He had an interception in the season-opening win over the Giants, but has been targeted in recent weeks.

According to Pro Football Focus, Rivers targeted Brown four times and completed four receptions for 86 yards, 43 yards after the catch and one touchdown in the Thanksgiving Day game.

Brown has also had two possible interceptions slip through his hands against the Rams and Eagles.

Along with Brown, the Cowboys could look at different workloads for their safeties. Byron Jones has struggled in recent weeks, and Jeff Heath hasn’t made much of an impact.

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