Sometimes, changing the role of a player is all that’s needed to reach their potential. The Dallas Cowboys appear to be trying that strategy heading into the 2023 season. Cowboys defensive back Kelvin Joseph hasn’t lived up to expectations, but appears to be getting a new chance at safety.
Joseph is entering his third season with Dallas after being drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft. After just three starts over the past two years, the former LSU Tiger and Kentucky Wildcat looks like he’s switching things up.
“Kelvin Joseph spent much of practice working with the safety group,” 105.3 The Fan’s Bobby Belt posted on Twitter along with a photo.
This could be a positive or negative sign depending on how one looks at it: changing positions rather than being released or buried down the depth chart could show that the Cowboys believe in his ability and want to try and salvage his place on the team.
On the other hand, it can be viewed as the team trying a last-ditch effort before he is actually released. Joseph has been named a potential cut candidate heading into this fall, and this could just be the final step before that happens.
Dallas Puts Joseph ‘On Notice’
The Cowboys have made a handful of critical offseason additions, one being a trade for veteran corner Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore appears to be coming in for the No. 2 starting role, which does not bode well for Joseph’s chances of moving up the depth chart.
ESPN’s Todd Archer hit on this recently, saying that Joseph is a great special teams player but his future on the defense is murky.
“Joseph is one of the Cowboys’ best special-teamers, but that’s not enough as a former second-round pick, who has not taken advantage of his opportunities at cornerback,” Archer said. “In Week 15, he gave up two touchdowns in the loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and was benched in favor of Wright. After playing 37 defensive snaps in that game, he played just two in the final three contests. He is, at best, CB5 if not CB6 behind [Nashon] Wright.”
Wright is also a player “put on notice” in Archer’s eyes, as the two were already working from the bottom of the depth chart before Gilmore arrived.
Cowboys DC Shuts Down Micah Parsons’ Position Change
At the beginning of May, Cowboys star and hybrid player Micah Parsons announced that he was committing to being a full-time defensive end in 2023. That statement did not last very long before Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn shut it down.
Quinn attempted to explain Parsons’ statement by saying he is emphasizing pass rush, but makes it clear that Parsons isn’t taking on a new role.
“He is a pass-rushing linebacker,” Quinn said on May 13. “So if you ever need position changes, come to me. I think what he was probably trying to say is that I’m really emphasizing some pass-rush into my offseason.”
Parsons has 26.5 sacks over his first two seasons in the NFL, so it will be interesting how his approach will improve or affect his production in 2023.