IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys’ decision to keep only three cornerbacks isn’t necessarily a sign that they’re confident that rookie fourth-rounder Akwasi Owusu-Ansah is ready to contribute there.
Owusu-Ansah has worked as a slot corner since being cleared to practice early in training camp. He still has work to do before the Cowboys would be comfortable with him playing there, according to coach Wade Phillips.
There was no question that Owusu-Ansah, who has primarily worked at free safety, had enough potential to merit a roster spot. But the Cowboys knew the Division II prospect with the eye-popping measurable would be a project when they picked him.
They didn’t expect Owusu-Ansah to contribute to the defense as a rookie when they drafted him. They aren’t counting on him now, other than perhaps as a return man.
“He’s smart and athletic,” Phillips said. “Keep him on the football team and maybe active on game day? Yes, but other than that …”
Phillips indicated that, if a cornerback is injured, Alan Ball would play corner in the nickel and dime packages with Mike Hamlin filling in at free safety.
They’ll be patient with Owusu-Ansah instead of pushing him into a role before he’s ready.