Awuzie with the Cowboys in 2017
|No. 24 – Dallas Cowboys|
|Born:||May 24, 1995|
San Jose, California
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||202 lb (92 kg)|
|High school:||Oak Grove|
(San Jose, California)
|NFL Draft:||2017 / Round: 2 / Pick: 60|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2019|
|Player stats at PFR|
The son of Nigerian immigrants, Awuzie attended Oak Grove High School in San Jose, California. He played cornerback as well as wide receiver and was rated as a three-star recruit by both Rivals.com and ESPN.com.
As a junior, he tallied 23 carries for 249 yards, 3 touchdowns, 13 receptions for 211 yards and 4 touchdowns. As a free safety, he had 58 tackles, one interception returned 80 yards for a touchdown, one fumble recovery and 5 blocked kicks. He received All-League honors.
As a senior, he had 138 carries for 1,285 yards (third on the league), a 9.3-yard average and 14 touchdowns (first on the league), posting six 100-yard and two 200-yard games. He also had 18 receptions for 487 yards (two 100-yard games), 7 touchdowns, one pass completion for 38 yards and 128 total points (first on the league). On defense he played cornerback, making 69 tackles (3 for loss), 4 interceptions (2 returned for touchdowns), 12 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and 4 blocked kicks. He received All-League, PrepStar All- West Region, first-team All-Area and helped his team claim back-to-back BVAL Mount Hamilton Division titles.
Awuzie gained immediate playing time, appearing in 12 games, with 7 starts (six at the nickel position and one at left cornerback). He recorded 643 snaps on defense (third-most by a freshman in school history), 59 tackles (just the 13th freshman to record 50 or more tackles for a season), 5 tackles for loss, one quarterback sack, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He had 12 tackles against the University of Arizona.
As a sophomore, he started in the first 9 games, before missing last three with a lacerated kidney he suffered in practice. He tallied 64 tackles (2 for loss), 8 passes defensed (third on the team), 2 interceptions, one fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry.
As a junior, he appeared in 13 games (12 starts) at a combination between cornerback and the nickel position. He registered 90 tackles (second on the team), 78 solo tackles, 4 sacks (set record for the most by a CU defensive back), 2 interceptions, 10 passes defensed and had a team-high 13 tackles for loss, making it the first time a defensive back ever led in that category dating back to 1969 (when it was first tracked). He was named to the All-Pac-12 football team second-team.
Before his senior season, he was named to the Thorpe Award watchlist, annually given to best defensive back in the nation, as well as the Nagurski Award watchlist, which is given to the best defensive player in college football. He finished with 60 tackles (48 solo), 4 sacks (tying his own single-season record for CU defensive backs), one interception, 12 passes defensed and 2 forced fumbles.
Awuzie received an invitation to the NFL Combine and completed all combine and positional drills. He also participated at Colorado's Pro Day along with Ahkello Witherspoon, Tedric Thompson, Sefo Liufau, and ten other teammates. He opted to only perform positional drills and had another attempt at the vertical jump for the 44 scouts and representatives from all 32 NFL teams. Awuzie had private workouts and visits with the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, and Tennessee Titans. NFL draft experts and analysts projected him to be a first or second round pick. He was ranked the fourth best cornerback in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com, the second best nickel back by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, the seventh best cornerback by ESPN, and was ranked the 15th best cornerback by Sports Illustrated.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press|
|5 ft 11 7⁄8 in
|30 5⁄8 in
|8 1⁄2 in
|4.43 s||1.53 s||2.57 s||4.14 s||6.81 s||39 1⁄2 in
|11 ft 0 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
The Dallas Cowboys selected Awuzie in the second round (60th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. Awuzie was the 10th cornerback drafted in 2017. His selection is remembered by the intense speech that Drew Pearson gave amidst boos from the Eagles fans in attendance.
|Cowboys draft Chidobe Awuzie 60th overall|
|Chidobe Awuzie, “I breathe football”|
Throughout training camp, Awuzie competed to be a starting cornerback against Jourdan Lewis, Marquez White, Nolan Carroll, Orlando Scandrick, and Anthony Brown. He missed most of training camp with a hamstring and ankle injury. Head coach Jason Garrett named Awuzie the fourth cornerback to begin the regular season, behind Nolan Carroll, Orlando Scandrick, and Anthony Brown.
He made his professional regular season debut in the Dallas Cowboys’ season-opener against the New York Giants and made four combined tackles during a 19–3 victory. On September 17, 2017, Awuzie earned his first career start after Orlando Scandrick sustained a fractured hand the following week. Unfortunately, Awuzie sustained a hamstring injury during the Cowboys’ 42–17 loss at the Denver Broncos. Awuzie was inactive for the next two games (Weeks 3–4) due to the injury. He returned during the Cowboys’ Week 5 loss against the Green Bay Packers, but further re-injured his hamstring and was subsequently sidelined for the next four games (Week 7–10). Awuzie supplanted Anthony Brown as a starting cornerback for the last five games due to consistent penalties. In Week 15, he collected a season-high five combined tackles and one pass deflection during a 20–17 victory at the Oakland Raiders. On December 31, 2017, Awuzie recorded two solo tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception during a 6–0 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17. Awuzie intercepted a pass by Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles, that was initially intended for wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey, during the first quarter. He finished his rookie season in 2017 with 25 combined tackles (14 solo), seven pass deflections, one interception, and one forced fumble in ten games and six starts.
Awuzie retained his role as a starting cornerback in 2018 and began the season alongside Byron Jones. In Week 2, he collected a season-high eight solo tackles during a 20–13 win against the New York Giants. He was inactive during a Week 6 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars due to an ankle injury. Awuzie finished with season with 71 combined tackles (57 solo), 11 pass deflections, one interception, and one forced fumble in 15 games and 14 starts. He received an overall grade of 65.1 from Pro Football Focus, which ranked 65th among all qualifying cornerbacks in 2018.
The Dallas Cowboys finished first in the NFC East with a 10–6 record and earned a playoff berth. On January 5, 2019, Awuzie started his first career playoff game and made six combined tackles and broke up a pass attempt during a 24–22 win against the Seattle Seahawks during a NFC Wildcard Game.
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- "Pac-12 football all-Conference team announced". Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
- "Awuzie named to Thorpe award watch list". CU Buffs website.
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- Gil Brandt (March 9, 2017). "Pro day results: Oklahoma, Colorado, Temple, Kentucky". NFL.com. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
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- "UPDATE: Cowboys CBs Nolan Caroll, Chidobe Awuzie out for remainder of Broncos game due to injury". sportsday.dallasnews.com. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie ready to return from nagging hamstring injury". ajc.com. November 8, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "Report: Cowboys to bench penalty-machine CB Anthony Brown". cowboyswire.usatoday.com. November 28, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles - December 31st, 2017". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
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- "Benched or Injured? Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie sits for two series". cowboyswire.usatoday.com. October 7, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "NFL Player stats: Chidobe Awuzie (career)". NFL.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- "Pro Football Focus: Chidobe Awuzie". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "NFL Player stats: Chidobe Awuzie (2018)". NFL.com. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "Saints top Cowboys in 12-10 defensive struggle". www.espn.com. September 29, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019.