Chidobe Awuzie. Xavier Woods. Jourdan Lewis.
All three are rookies and all three played significant minutes in the Dallas Cowboys’ 38-14 win over the Washington Redskins Thursday night at AT&T Stadium.
Woods started at safety. Awuzie started at cornerback.
Lewis had three tackles. Wood had three tackles and two quarterback pressures. Awuzie had three tackles and three passes defensed.
Fans might not have seen their contributions, but their Cowboys sure did.
“It was just the pass rush if you ask me. It was rush and covering, defensive tackle David Irving said. “Our DBs were doing a great job, making him (Kirk Cousins) hold the ball. He wasn’t able to get it out as quick. And it paid off.
“It’s always good to see them (the rookies) making plays. It hypes you up to see the youngsters getting in, making big-boys plays.”
Awuzie, a second-round pick out of Colorado, has been slowed this season by a hamstring injury.
“I’ve got to stay on top of it. I’ve got three games in a row now and if I want to get four, five, six, I’ve just got to keep staying on top of it and going to the trainers and being smart.
“We just had the mindset that we aren’t going to get beat and we’re going to be better than the person across from us.”
Coach Jason Garrett praised the entire defense, but gave special notice to Awuzie.
“It was his first start he’s had at corner in the NFL and he did a good job with his assignments, doing what he’s suppose to do on the given coverage and he was able to make some plays,” Garrett said. “He knocked the ball down a couple of times, came up and made some tackles, but I think more than anything else, the game wasn’t too big for him. He looked comfortable out there.”
Safety Kavon Frazier also took note of Awuzie’s play and the other rookies.
“Chido, he played great. We all knew it could happen and we all knew Chido could play like that,” Frazier said. “In practice, we see it all, but you guys haven’t really seen it because he’s been hurt all year.
“Jourdan Lewis was out there ballin’. Everybody was out ther ballin’ and having fun.”