Xavien Howard reacts to earning comparison to some of greatest cornerbacks in NFL history

Xavien Howard Miami Dolphins Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard ranks near the top when it comes to performance for cornerbacks during the 2020 NFL season.

His elite play so far this season has earned him comparisons to some of the NFL’s greatest corners in history.

“But when Howard has been on the field, he’s intercepted passes at a rate better than any and all of these greats: Deion Sanders, Charles Woodson, Champ Bailey, Darrelle Revis, Darrell Green, Rod Woodson, Ronnie Lott,” Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post wrote.

However, Howard is keeping his attention on more important matters.

“Those are some great guys, Hall of Famers,” Howard said Monday, when informed about the research. “But I don’t focus on the stats. I focus on getting better. To be in the same category and talking about some of the same numbers, I do feel if I stay healthy and keep going, that’s what’s in the future for me.”

Howard, who’s battled injuries over the course of his Dolphins career, currently leads the NFL with seven interceptions. That number matches his production for the entire 2018 season, when he earned Pro Bowl honors.

When it comes to the frequency of those interceptions this season, Howard trails only three players in the Super Bowl era.

That trio is a stellar group, consisting of Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Lem Barney, Miami Dolphins great Jake Scott and Kansas City Chiefs standout Gary Barbaro.

Schad put Howard’s production into context.

“In 51 career games, Howard has 19 interceptions,” he wrote. “He intercepts a pass, on average, more than once every three games (.37). That rate is the best in the NFL since Barbaro’s final NFL season, 1982.

“Hence, nobody in the NFL has done interceptions better than X since 1982.

“Nobody.

Undoubtedly, part of the reason that Howard has been flourishing is the presence of Byron Jones at the Dolphins’ other starting cornerback spot. As a team, the Dolphins have given up just 13 touchdown passes and have picked off the ball 11 times so far this year.

Thus far, Howard has been the target of opposing passes 63 times during the 2020 season. He’s only allowed 30 receptions under his watch.

While Howard is enjoying a standout season on an individual level, he’d much prefer to get to the postseason and see how deep the Dolphins can go this season and beyond.