Dallas has a busy Spring ahead of them as they look to retain some of their most key roster talent. But as they focus on those big name parts, other free agents could be more highly valued from other teams.
One of those under the radar guys, of course, is cornerback Anthony Brown. A former sixth round pick out of Purdue, Anthony Brown was provided excellent value for the Cowboys considering his draft position. He’s been a versatile piece for the Cowboys defense, playing on the outside during his first two seasons before transferring into the slot just about full time in 2018.
Brown had a rough 2017 campaign on the outside, though, and his move to the slot has revitalized his career. In fact, Brown was so good in the slot (and hit the physical prerequisites set by Kris Richard) that he kept the dynamic Jourdan Lewis off the field for much of the last two seasons.
Anthony Brown tore his triceps during week 11 of the 2019 season, putting him on injured reserve and opening the door for more Jourdan Lewis snaps. With that increased time, Lewis played pretty well, justifying the Twitter love he receives seemingly every day of the week.
Now Anthony Brown enters unrestricted free agency, one of 15 members of the Cowboys defense who is looking for a new contract. Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton named Brown as one of the biggest potential bargain free agents this offseason, but I’m not sure that the bargain can come with the Cowboys. If it comes at all.
Cornerback is an increasingly important position. While offenses open up their formations and utilize more 3 and 4 receiver sets, those slot corners are more important than ever as well. Brown is a good slot cornerback, there’s no question, and a triceps injury isn’t one which typically haunts someone for the rest of their career.
Brown isn’t the only secondary piece entering free agency, either. The team’s “CB1” Byron Jones is set to receive a hefty contract from someone, whether that will be in Dallas or not. Rumors are already circling that the Denver Broncos have their eyes set on Jones, and losing two of their top 3 cornerbacks in free agency wouldn’t be ideal for the Cowboys.
I’d guess that Brown is healthy and ready to go for the 2020 season, and the Cowboys need to make sure he doesn’t get lost in the free agent shuffle.