Dallas Cowboys: Starting cornerback up for grabs

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys selected Kelvin Joseph in the second round this year in the draft, but after the OTAs, it appears the Cowboys are allowing competition and expertise to decide the other outside opposite of Trevon Diggs.

Diggs is firmly entrenched as the top corner on the roster, but who starts opposite from him is a little bit of a question as of right now. Yes, the picture will probably become clearer as training camp kicks off and progresses, but right now the answer isn’t so easy.

After OTAs, the Dallas Cowboys appear to be un-set at the starting corner

If we are to take the OTAs at face value then it looks like Anthony Brown will be the starter week one. Brown has played outside before and while he is not the optimal choice, he has been serviceable. Brown’s 2018 and 2019 were better than his 2020, but no one looked great in 2020 on this defense. Brown was also injured for part of both of the past seasons which has not helped either. Before going down in 2019, Brown looked like he had taken another step allowing a 60% completion percentage and 79.9 QBR against. In 2018, Brown allowed a 62.5% completion percentage and a 107.2 QBR against.

Brown does offer more flexibility to play outside than Jourdan Lewis and of the two Brown is the better overall corner, by a slim margin. This would all mean that Brown and Diggs would start outside as Joseph learns for a few weeks, with Lewis playing in the slot. If this happens, Joseph would most likely start during the season, thus kicking Brown inside and allowing Lewis to play a corner/safety hybrid position.

However, there are two wildcards here. Joseph could show up in training camp and take over for Brown. Joseph is the most athletic over the two and the Cowboys could decide to let Joseph take the Diggs approach with “trial by fire.” The ability of Brown to step back outside should the need arise does give the Cowboys some flexibility.

The other wildcard is Nahshon Wright at cornerback. Wright needs development, but the staff loves his height and length. If Wright can develop quicker than expected, he can help to platoon on the outside with both Brown and Joseph, which will help Joseph’s adjustment, and Brown’s ability to play multiple spots. Wright and Joseph are the two unknowns on the roster at cornerback, if we are to believe Israel Mukuamu is set to play safety.

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The rest of the cornerback room is full of veterans who appear to not be in the mix for one of the top four positions. Maurice Canady and Reggie Robinson might have the inside track, however, there are also special teams ace C.J. Goodwin, Rashard Robinson, and Deante Burton fighting it out for roster spots. The Cowboys could go a little deep at cornerback due to lack of experience and potential injury concerns.

Next. Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster prediction (post-OTA edition) V2.0. dark

For now, Anthony Brown is penciled in as the starter, but there is still time before the Cowboys get to writing his name in ink. Ideally, Joseph will be ready to go week one, and the Cowboys can have more flexibility at the start of the season and as it progresses. There are still some free agents out there, but with cost, past comments, and degraded play, each comes with its own pitfalls that would need to be addressed to be signed. For now, it looks like the starter opposite of Diggs is still wide open and we won’t get an answer for a little while.

  • Published on 06/08/2021 at 12:37 PM
  • Last updated at 06/08/2021 at 12:37 PM