This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys addressed a handful of positions. They signed starting free safety Damontae Kazee. They signed former first rounder Keanu Neal, expecting him to play starting-level snaps as he rotates between WILL and strong safety. And they signed a starting 1-tech DT in Brent Urban.
In all, they addressed three of their biggest needs this offseason and potentially filled three starting positions as well. But one position they’ve seemingly saved exclusively for the draft – cornerback.
After letting Chidobe Awuzie leave in free agency, there’s a vacancy on the boundary. With Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown primarily inside players, Trevon Diggs is all alone on the outside. It should be no surprise many are predicting the Dallas Cowboys to select a CB early in the draft this weekend.
They need a plug-and-play cornerback this year and the chances of finding one dwindles every pick that goes by. In my final Cowboys mock draft, I’ve listed two scenarios in which this can be accomplished, either at pick 10 or in a trade down situation.
Today we look at what happens if the Dallas Cowboys don’t grab a cornerback early in the draft.
Ideally, Dallas drafts a cornerback in round 1 today. The need is there, the position value at CB is worth it, and most of the league’s top CBs are found on Day 1. But the Dallas Cowboys have hinted at various situations that may cause them to deviate from their need and pick an offensive player early instead.
Are the Cowboys up a creek?
Last week we detailed five starting quality cornerbacks who are likely to be available in the second round. We gave enough options where we can feel fairly confident Dallas will have a few candidates available. It really shouldn’t be problem for them if they have to pick up a CB in round 2.
Now, if the Cowboys don’t get a CB in round two, things start to get complicated. Not impossible. Just complicated. Let’s say that’s what happens and the Dallas Cowboys enter the third round with a glaring need still there at CB2. What then?
The first answer is free agency. The easiest way to get a Day 1 starter at outside CB is to find a proven veteran in free agency. Guys like Casey Hayward and Richard Sherman are still looking for jobs and Dallas could very well be the perfect opportunity.
Both guys are long in the tooth, but because of that, probably won’t require a major commitment. They would be excellent one or two year Band-Aids to help Dallas get by. They would also be certifiable upgrades over last year so we can still chalk it up as a win.
Next is the trade market. We’ve discussed the possible availability of two highly regarded players: Bradley Roby and Stephon Gilmore. Both are proven and affordable and neither would require more than a 3rd round pick as trade compensation.
The first player has the skills that excite but no professional film to really speak of. I think it would be fairly ridiculous to bank on him doing anything in 2021 (although we hope to see something). Smith has a little experience but quite unsavory results. Keep looking…
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The third player, Anthony Brown, has played on the outside before in emergency situations and would probably be leaned on again if all other options failed. Dallas surprised us and signed fellow inside CB, Jourdan Lewis, this offseason. Lewis, who’s short and not exceptionally fast, isn’t an option outside like Brown has been, but he could replace Brown inside and allow Brown to slide outside.
The Dallas Cowboys could certainly couple this positional shift with a third round pick. It would let them take a shot on a rookie all while having Brown as an insurance policy in case the rookie doesn’t pan out. Players like Keith Taylor and Benjamin St-Juste fit the Cover-3 mold the Dallas Cowboys look for in a CB. They’re long and lean and able to play on the boundary.
At the end of the day, the Dallas Cowboys have a handful of options if they don’t pick a cornerback early in the draft.
With all of that said, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to draft a CB today.
- Published on 04/29/2021 at 12:24 PM
- Last updated at 04/29/2021 at 12:28 PM