Fixing the Dallas Cowboys in Five Moves: February Edition

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Free Agency: CBs

Gareon Conley

This whole free agency group has a bunch of busted first-round picks and that is 100 percent by design. If the front office is going to insist on penny-pinching in free agency, signing young players who haven’t been consistent is the most optimal way of building a defense because there won’t be as big an athletic decline to a 25-year-old safety fresh off a season-ending injury compared to a 31-year-old safety staring father time in the face.

Conley was the 25th pick in the 2017 NFL draft, a draft that changed the Cowboys’ outlook for the worse. (Because at pick 28…. okay I’ll stop) Conley went to Oakland dealing with some off-field baggage from a domestic violence accusation. After playing only two games in his rookie season, he played 29 in the two following seasons. Midway through his third season, he was traded to Houston because he just wasn’t a fit for Paul Guenther’s off-zone-heavy defense.

In Houston, he started to look like the Ohio State version of himself playing in a more press coverage heavy defense. After things started looking up at the end of 2019, he was placed on injured reserve to start the 2020 season and never came back.

So why sign another player who missed pretty much every game of 2020? Because the athleticism and flashes are there. This defense needs good players with athleticism and Conley fits that description pretty well. He’s tall and fast, something Quinn will certainly covet, and he displays good instincts in press coverage understanding how to use the boundary and understanding when to jam.

He hasn’t played in a year and will likely be on his third team. How much can he cost to bring to training camp at this point?