The Dallas Cowboys had a plan when they re-signed Jourdan Lewis to a three-year, $13.5 million contract back in 2021. The diminutive nickel back out of Michigan was re-signed one year after fellow inside-man Anthony Brown was re-signed, so initially the move seemed curious, to say the least.
Why would the Dallas Cowboys need two veteran slot CBs? – Especially one who doesn’t have inside/outside versatility like Brown.
While Jourdan Lewis looked good in some safety roles back in the past, the Cowboys have always been hesitant to use him in a role other than nickel CB. The plan always seemed to be that Dallas would ride the duo one season, and then move on from the more expensive Brown in 2022 and hand off slot duties to Lewis.
Jourdan Lewis will be a vital part of the Dallas Cowboys defense in 2022
That plan hit a snag when Brown was forced into a starting boundary role in 2021 and to this day has yet to relinquish that top spot opposite Trevon Diggs. It’s possible Kelvin Joseph can step up and take a second boundary spot away from Brown, but that’s assuming he isn’t suspended to start the season. The uncertainty all but guarantees Brown will be on the roster, leaving Lewis in a state of flux. This was clearly not the plan we discussed when Dallas first re-signed Lewis but they most certainly are glad they did.
Lewis is the only other proven inside man on the Cowboys so if Brown has to play outside, Dallas needs Lewis inside. Look at the depth chart and tell me the Cowboys don’t need Lewis. DaRon Bland, Nahshon Wright, and Isaac Taylor Stuart aren’t the type of names that instill confidence. Lewis’ paltry $4,637,255 salary is a small price to pay for a little peace of mind – especially since the Dallas Cowboys are flush with cash right now.
Even if Kelvin Joseph steps up and claims that starting role, even if a suspension isn’t handed down, and even if Anthony Brown stays on the team, I don’t see a scenario where Jourdan Lewis is expendable.
For as critical as I was of Lewis back in 2020, I’m complimentary here in 2022. Lewis played well in 2021 as the slot man, and showed off his skills as a box player. He’s not only a decent cover man with plus-ball skills, he’s also good against the run and efficient in attacking the backfield.
He’s an asset at an affordable price.
The Dallas Cowboys are very lucky to have both Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis on affordable veteran deals. Both are important players heading into 2022 and both are underappreciated by far too many Cowboys fans.