The cornerback position may be toughest spot for decision-making right now on the entire Cowboys roster. But thanks to some info published yesterday over on the team's official website, we may have a little more clarity on how these corners are comparing to each other in Dallas' 2021 training camp.
The website's “Rank ‘Em” series focused on CB yesterday with a ranking of all 10 players currently in camp. Here was the list from the DallasCowboys.com staff writers:
- Trevon Diggs
- Maurice Canady
- Anthony Brown
- Nahshon Wright
- Kelvin Joseph
- Deante Burton
- Jourdan Lewis
- Reggie Robinson
- C.J. Goodwin
- Kyron Brown
Does this list tell us anything we didn't already know? That may depend on how much you keep up with these same writers and others on social media and other outlets. But surprising or not, here's what this list tell me.
Seeing Diggs on top is the least surprising item of all. We've already seen he's star potential, and the analysis in the article says that Trevon is now adding consistency to the playmaking. He looks poised for the second-year leap that we're all excited for!
Perhaps the biggest surprise is next with Maurice Canady in the #2 spot. Casual members of Cowboys Nation may not even remember Canady, who signed as a free agent last year and then opted out under the COVID-19 policy.
Canady has returned in 2021 and has been on a mission to revive his career. If his camp performances carry over the rest of August, Maurice just might be one of the top three CBs on the depth chart for Week One.
Anthony Brown remains a steady presence in that third spot. While he doesn't bring the occasional wows of a guy like Diggs, Brown's versatility and consistency are what have kept the former 6th-round pick gainfully employed for five seasons. At this point, a sixth year in Dallas seems highly likely.
Nahshon Wright gets the nod over his fellow rookie, Kelvin Joseph, thanks to having a faster start to camp. While Joseph has been turning it on as of late, Wright was making noise back in the rookie camps and OTAs and carried that momentum into Oxnard. The good news here is that both rookies appear to be legit and should contribute soon.
A real surprise was seeing Deante Burton listed sixth, especially ahead of Jourdan Lewis, but the DC.com staff said this was mostly due to Lewis missing time with injury. However, Burton's size does make him more of a Dan Quinn-style corner and he's now in his fifth NFL season.
Reggie Robinson hasn't had it easy since entering the NFL, getting moved to safety as a rookie and now getting flipped back to CB in his second year. These transitions have likely slowed his progress and could make it hard for him to stick to the 2021 roster, especially as a product of a previous defensive regime.
Indeed, keeping Robinson won't be the only dilemma that the Cowboys face if all of these players stay healthy. Not only do they have seven cornerbacks who all have good cases to make the roster, but special teams “ace” C.J. Goodwin will likely take up a roster spot despite his lack of value on defense.
The fall guy here is probably Deante Burton. While Maurice Canady has almost made himself indispensable 2021, Burton's still vulnerable and may not survive against younger prospects with more perceived upside.
From the basic perspectives of age and contracts Canady and Anthony Brown would be the next guys up on the chopping block. But if these rankings reflect the coaches' feelings as well, Dallas isn't going to part with these assets given their championship aspirations and a Week One matchup against Tom Brady.
We still have three preseason games and a bunch of practices before these decisions have to be made. There's still plenty of time for job security to be gained or lost; how much might these rankings change between now and final cuts?