For the first time in a long time, the Dallas Cowboys appear flush with talent at the cornerback position. It means some quality players may not be able make the team in 2018. Could it also make a guy like Anthony Brown a good asset for a trade?
In just two seasons, Brown has started 19 games for the Cowboys and been an active contributor in the rest. He has been a solid player, but may have dropped to fourth on the depth chart now behind Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Byron Jones.
Behind Anthony are prospects such as Duke Thomas, Marquez White, and intriguing rookies Kam Kelly and Charvarious Ward. None has his experience, but all will enter training camp with some perceived upside.
At the most, Dallas would keep six cornerbacks but are more likely to go with five. The safety flex potential of Byron Jones and Kam Kelly may prompt Dallas to go long at CB, but even then you may have to cut a few guys you like.
That’s where Brown’s experience, which translates to exposure to other NFL teams, could make him an attractive trade asset.
Despite being a sixth-round pick in 2016, Anthony was thrust into immediate action with injuries to Morris Claiborne and Orlando Scandrick. He was hardly perfect, but he held up to the pressure and at times flashed big play potential. By the end of the year, Brown was close on several would-be interceptions.
Last year, Brown’s playing time dipped slightly as Awuzie and Lewis moved into larger roles but he still finished the season with two picks. He remained a reliable corner, though still learning and growing in just his second year.
Solid corners are a major asset in the NFL and there may be a team where Anthony could be one of their top three guys, or even a starter, given his experience and potential.
The two years left on Brown’s rookie deal also make him an attractive trade target. His new team would only have to pay the $630k and $720k base salaries over the next two years, respectively.
Of course, Brown may be too valuable for Dallas to part ways. All it takes is one injury to the top three and you’ll regret not having him.
But if guys like Kelly, Thomas, Ward, and White can step up and earn the coaches’ trust over the next few months, it could give the Cowboys confidence enough to put Brown’s name on the trading block.
Reasonably, Dallas might be able to get a fourth-round pick back for a young-but-experienced CB with two years left on his rookie deal. That would be a nice return on the sixth rounder you spent in 2016 to get him.
So no, you don’t tend to get rid of talented cornerbacks in the NFL. Bill Parcells once said you couldn’t have enough of them. But there are also only so many roster spots to give, and it looks like Dallas may have more talent than they can fit onto the 2018 squad.
If so, Anthony Brown could be a prime candidate for a trade.