There's been a few pleasant rookie additions to the Dallas Cowboys defense, including Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods.
But the Dallas Morning News writes that another defender is quietly making his name as well.
"I've just been trying to leave it on the field and not really have any regrets," second-year safety Kavon Frazier said Thursday. "A lot of times after games you're like 'Dang, I could've made that play,' or 'I wish went harder on that.'
"I try to minimize all that and just play free."
Playing free, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli says, is what Frazier is doing best.
The Cowboys' sixth-round pick in 2016 out of Central Michigan played nine games last season, focusing on special teams. He's remained a special-teams fixture this year but slowly showed coaches his defensive value also. After averaging 9.6 defensive snaps across the first 11 games, Frazier has jumped to 27.7 the last three. He's still playing on special teams but upped his defensive participation to roughly 40 percent of snaps in those three games. The Cowboys have won all three, holding opponents to 13.6 points in the stretch compared to 24.5 in the first 11 matches.
Frazier said he's just trying to get a grasp for what works best on defense, noted the Morning News.
"Frazier's teammates celebrated with him. The safety pointed at his veins, indicating, he says, that he's cold-blooded. Marinelli lauded his technique."
"He did a nice job I thought with some space tackles last week," Marinelli said Thursday. "On that reverse you see him come up and he just took the right angles. The angles are perfect."
Marinelli describes Frazier's hard hits more colorfully.
"He's becoming a thumper," the defensive coordinator marveled. "He can really hit."