‘Just made a play’: Cowboys CB Nahshon Wright sealed win, emptied Titans’ stadium with first INT

Having just gone up by two touchdowns with six minutes to play, the Cowboys defense needed someone to step up.

Nahshon Wright stepped WAY up.

The 6-foot-4-inch cornerback went much higher than that, looking like he got launched off a trampoline as he snared Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs’s pass out of the air on its way to wideout Robert Woods in Cowboys territory. Wright’s first interception as a pro helped to snuff out a possible Titans rally and eventually seal the Cowboys’ 12th win of the season.

But the 24-year-old, making his first start of the year, took the moment in stride as he spoke with reporters after the 27-13 win.

“I just made a play when it came my way,” Wright said at his locker Thursday night. “That was all, that was it. He just threw it; I went up and grabbed it.”

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Wright became the eighth Cowboys defender to log an interception this year, giving the team 15 picks on the season, a mark that’s third-best in the league.

But the 2021 third-round pick out of Oregon State contributed more than just that well-timed takeaway. He also led the team in tackles on the night.

Not bad for a guy who had logged just 59 defensive snaps on the year entering the Week 17 contest.

“It was a zone coverage. I was able to get my eyes back to the quarterback; I originally thought he was going to scramble. But he just threw it up in my area, and I went up and grabbed it,” Wright explained.

It was an outstanding play that you can make with his skillset, and that’s always been the thing for him,” owner Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. “Once he gets his confidence, once he gets his technique that you get with more experience, then [we knew] his skillset, his height, his length would make him a unique corner for us. I think that’s coming, and I was proud to see him get it.”

The Oregon State product was pressed into extra service after season-ending injuries to cornerbacks Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown and less-than-impressive play from fellow second-year corner Kelvin Joseph.

It wasn’t perfect by any stretch. According to PFF, Wright allowed seven catches on 10 targets, giving up 105 yards (including the evening’s longest play, a 39-yard reception to little-used wide receiver Racey McMath) and the Titans’ lone touchdown.

But with an increasing number of snaps over each of the past four weeks and a bit of confidence under his belt, Wright now looks to keep trending upward in the Dallas defense.

“Nahshon just continues to battle with every opportunity he gets,” head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters after the game. “He’s clearly one of the guys you point to to take the second-year jump. I think we’re seeing that. But he needs to take another step. We’ve got another game, and we still want to be able to play and get some rhythm with our defensive personnel. I think we were more fluid this week than we were last week, and that’s definitely a big step in the right direction.”

Wright’s timely interception spurred Titans fans to take steps in the direction of the Nissan Stadium exits on Thursday. But the youngster had no idea his pick had caused a mass exodus until a reporter told him afterward.

“For real? I didn’t know. I was still locked in.”

Locked in. That’s a good place to be for a cornerback, and right where the Cowboys would like Wright to stay for the upcoming playoff run.

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Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire