Dallas Cowboys

Spotlight on Colts cornerback Vontae Davis

Vontae Davis is athletic and physical.
Vontae Davis is athletic and physical. AP

Height: 5-11

Weight: 207

Season: 6th

College: Illinois

Strengths: Davis has matured in his third season with the Indianapolis Colts. He made several midseason All-Pro teams. Davis, who missed one game this season with a concussion, ranks among the best corners in the game in terms of catches and yards allowed. Quarterbacks have targeted him 67 times, and he has given up 27 catches for 337 yards with a touchdown while breaking up 20 passes. Davis is physical as his 37 tackles show. He has explosive hitting ability. His rare combination of size, athleticism and speed — he ran a 4.49 at the combine in 2009 — made him the 25th overall pick in 2009. Davis has 17 career interceptions, including four this season, and he also has forced a fumble.

Weaknesses: The Miami Dolphins traded Davis to the Colts in 2012 after questioning his effort and conditioning. He had lost his starting job to Richard Marshall during that summer’s training camp. Davis was benched in 2008 by his college coach, Ron Zook, which began the concerns about his work ethic. He does gamble some, which leaves him open to giving up a big play now and again.

Last week: He had three tackles, two pass breakups and an interception in the Colts’ 17-10 victory over the Houston Texans.

Who he has to stop? Davis stays on the right side, which will match him up with Dez Bryant at times. Philadelphia tried man coverage with Bradley Fletcher against Bryant, and Bryant caught six passes for 114 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys rank 16th in pass offense, although they could throw it more this week with DeMarco Murray’s availability in doubt. The Cowboys have thrown more than 30 times in only six games this season, including 31 against the Eagles.

Notable: Davis has played only one game against the Cowboys. In 2011, his Dolphins lost to Dallas, but Davis had five tackles, two pass breakups and an interception he returned 25 yards. His brother is San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. Vontae Davis’ 20 pass breakups this season ranks second in the league to Fletcher’s 21. Cleveland’s Buster Skrine has 18 to rank third.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

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