Dallas Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie has endured a frustrating rookie season, battling a lingering hamstring injury since training camp.
Awuzie never dealt with injuries in college, so sitting out six games with an injury has been a new experience for him. But he’s healthy now and made the most of his opportunity to start against the Washington Redskins last Thursday.
“I felt like I made an impact on the game, that’s all you can try to do in this league, especially as a rookie,” said Awuzie, who was among a handful of players at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth on Monday as part of the team’s annual holiday hospital visits.
“Just try to make a positive impact on the game. Hopefully I can build from there.”
It was an impressive first impression.
Awuzie broke up two passes intended for former first-round pick Josh Doctson, the former TCU and Mansfield Legacy standout who is now with the Redskins. He also forced an incompletion intended for Ryan Grant.
Only one other Cowboys player has had a game with three passes defensed – rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis vs. Green Bay.
“He was pretty good,” Cowboys secondary coach Joe Baker said after the game. “I’ve got to look at the tape to see exactly how good, but he obviously got his hand on a bunch of balls and tackled pretty well from where I can see.”
Owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones also heaped praise on Awuzie after the game.
The Cowboys play at the New York Giants Sunday.
For Awuzie, it’s just the start of what he hopes is a long, successful career in the NFL. He was a highly-touted player coming out of Colorado, and is expected to become a staple in the Cowboys secondary.
“I thought things went pretty decent,” Awuzie said. “Obviously we got the win, that’s all you can really wish for. Hopefully we can keep this train going.”
Dallas Cowboys 2017 Schedule
Sept. 10 Cowboys 19, New York Giants 3
Sept. 17 Denver 42, Cowboys 17
Sept. 25 Cowboys 28, Arizona 17
Oct. 1 Los Angeles Rams 35, Cowboys 30
Oct. 8 Green Bay 35, Cowboys 31.
Oct. 15 Bye
Oct. 22 Cowboys 40, San Francisco 10
Oct. 29 Cowboys 33, Washington 19
Nov. 5 Cowboys 28, Kansas City 17
Nov. 12 Atlanta 27, Cowboys 7
Nov. 19 Philadelphia 37, Cowboys 9
Nov. 23 L.A. Chargers 28, Cowboys 6
Nov. 30 Cowboys 38, Washington 14
Dec. 10 at New York Giants (KDFW/4) Noon
Dec. 17 at Raiders (KXAS/5) 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 24 vs. Seattle (KDFW/4) 3:25 p.m.
Dec. 31 at Philadelphia (KDFW/4) Noon