Dallas Cowboys: The most important battle to watch in training camp

1 of 4
dallas cowboys
dallas cowboys /

Cornerback. There’s no need to bury the lead and build intrigue when the answer is so darn obvious. Cornerback was the weakest link in 2020 and cornerback could very well be the weakest link again in 2021 if the right players don’t advance.

As we discussed last month, the Dallas Cowboys were dead last in the NFL against WR2s last year. Coverage as a whole was an underrated issue for Dallas. While their embarrassing run-defense made the headlines, their coverage was far worse on a per play basis. Teams just didn’t pile on the passing yards last season because they didn’t need to – they already built a big lead.

Cornerback was the Dallas Cowboys weakest link in 2020 and could be again if someone doesn’t step up.

We want to see the defensive tackle play improve this season (and we should with the scheme change and addition of Brent Urban). We want to see Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch bounce back (and we should with better play in front of them). But we NEED to see someone step up at cornerback and seize that CB2 role. Not just win the competition by default. Actually seize the role.

Assuming Trevon Diggs is locked into that lead role at CB1, let’s break down the challengers for CB2, shall we?

Kelvin Joseph, rookie

The best hope at elite play at cornerback is in the second round rookie, Kelvin Joseph. Joseph, aka “Bossman Fat”, brings a special set of skills to the competition. He’s not the typical tall and long-armed CB Dallas is known for drafting, but rather a fast and agile corner with versatile match-up skills and an eye for the ball.

we NEED to see someone step up at cornerback and seize that CB2 role. Not just win the competition by default. Actually seize the role.

The only problem is Joseph is extremely raw and his learning curve could be rather significant. The LSU transfer got most of his playing time at Kentucky. While he has plenty of great film matched up with a variety of elite SEC receivers, he’s only started nine games. That’s not a ton to go on.

To make matters worse, he was missing from most of offseason mini-camps and there are questions about his preparedness. Something you don’t want to hear about your uber-raw second round pick. He needs developmental work and there’s no shortcut.

Luckily there’s no reason to think he’s going to miss a day of practice in training camp where he will have the opportunity to go against the best WR corps in the NFL, daily. It will no doubt provide an extraordinary gauge as to how far he is and how far he’s from seizing the CB2 spot. It could be right away or it could be next year. We really need to prepare for anything.


Based on historical data, we can’t expect him to be an above average starter as a rookie so we need to keep expectations realistic. It just doesn’t happen often and to expect an especially-green prospect like him to be the exception to the rule is a dangerous thing.