Dallas Cowboys: Don’t sleep on free agent addition CB Maurice Canady

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 29: Maurice Canady (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 29: Maurice Canady (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys quietly signed Maurice Canady earlier in the offseason and that move has the potential to make some noise in 2020.

Before the headlines hit on March 19th, most Dallas Cowboys fans never heard of cornerback Maurice Canady. Canady, 26, had been in the NFL for three years, but never logged a heavy enough workload to stand out one way or the other to fans of other teams.

Will McClay and the Dallas Cowboys pro personnel department sure knew who he was. And coach Mike McCarthy probably knew of the guy as well. That’s because Canady very quietly had a career year last season splitting time between the Ravens and the Jets.

Pro Football Focus rated Canady as the 25th CB in the NFL last season. As one of the biggest values of free agency, McCarthy likely learned of Canady back when he visited Pro Football Focus’ headquarters before becoming Dallas’ coach. In his quest to learn analytics Canady may have been a name who stood out to McCarthy as a free agent with underrated value.

Regardless of how the learning process unfolded, it’s clear Maurice Canady was someone the Dallas Cowboys were targeting from the jump. At 6-foot-1, 193 lbs, Canady fits the Will McClay mold. McClay isn’t shy about his love for long cornerbacks and even if the Cowboys incorporate more 2-Man coverage than before (which we predict they will), single high safety looks like last season are still going to be a regular occurrence. That means Cover 1 and Cover 3 will again be used regularly.

Related Story. Expect more 2-Man coverage from Dallas in 2020. light

Canady fits what the Cowboys are doing on defense. He thrives in bump and run coverage and plays a physical brand of football in coverage as well as against the run. Canady struggles in zone but outside of Cover 3, he won’t be asked to do much zone (and Cover 3 isn’t your typical zone scheme for an outside CB anyway).

Last season he played 318 snaps at outside CB and a combined 72 in the box matching up against tight ends and the slot.

Maurice Canady is going to make the Dallas Cowboys roster in 2020. His upside and versatility is valuable and his special teams ability basically seals the deal. The Dallas Cowboys are focused on improving their special teams play and upgrading their developmental options.

Because of his actual CB play on defense, Canady will should be able to beat out C.J. Goodwin, Dallas’ special teams ace last season. Canady probably isn’t going to crack the top-3 CB spots this season, but there’s a good chance he can claim the CB4 spot with his proven ability on the boundary.

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Maurice Canady is a player the Dallas Cowboys pounced on when free agency opened. He’s coming off his best season as a pro and at just 26-years-old, has his best football ahead of him. He may be the bargain of the offseason.

  • Published on 06/17/2020 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 06/17/2020 at 08:03 AM