The Dallas Cowboys rookie safety, seventh round draft pick Ahmad Dixon, led the team in tackles in their 2014 NFL preseason opening game against the San Diego Chargers. He also had to leave the game early due to a concussion, seeming to just add on to the injury bug that has attacked the Cowboys’ defense. Luckily, the team’s official website reported on Friday that Dixon is feeling well and there have been no lingering effects since the concussion.
Dixon, a rookie safety from the Baylor Bears, finished the game with 11 tackles. This is a nice performance from the rookie as he tries to vie for more playing time when the actual season gets underway. However, there are a couple of talking points to come out of this news as well. First, the fact that a safety led the team in tackles is not a good sign and second, the concussion could be a problem, despite him feeling fine afterwards.
For the concussion, the NFL has a strong policy in place to protect players from long-term injuries. While this was in reaction to retired players suing for lingering issues based on concussions, at least something is being done to protect the young players in the NFL. For a rookie to get a concussion in his first preseason game, it is not a positive sign. However, starting safety Barry Church explained that Dixon just needs to adjust how he tackles and not lead with his helmet to avoid further concussions.
As for the fact that Dallas had a safety make most of the tackles, that is something they very much have to work on. Dallas gave up 152 rushing yards in the game, meaning that the defensive line was letting one too many runners break through. They also gave up 243 passing yards in the game and the first incompletion wasn’t until 14:24 into the game. That incompletion came on a huge hit by Ahmad Dixon, so the Dallas Cowboys have to hope that his good performance will pay off as the season gets underway.