The Dallas Cowboys will be taking a long list of intriguing cornerbacks into their 2020 training camp. One guy whose name hasn't been mentioned much is Deante Burton, but there are reasons that he could be a greater contender in this competition than you might think.
Burton isn't brand new to the Cowboys. He was signed off the Colts' practice squad in Week 12 last season after Anthony Brown was lost to a season-ending injury. Deante was active for three games and only appeared on three defensive snaps, but was used a fair bit on special teams.
Dallas has brought back most of their cornerbacks from 2019 plus a host of new players. The current list of potential CB options is already lengthy before you even get to Burton's name:
- Chidobe Awuzie
- Jourdan Lewis
- Anthony Brown
- Trevon Diggs
- Reggie Robinson
- Maurice Canady
- Daryl Worley
- C.J. Goodwin
- Deante Burton
- Saivion Smith
- Chris Westry
Can Deante even contend give the names currently ahead of his? It'll certainly be tough, but he does have a few things going for him.
For one, Burton has great size at 6'2″ and 205 lbs. While Kris Richard is gone and size may be as big a concern under the new coaching staff, it's still a positive attribute throughout the NFL.
Deante also has real-game experience working for him. In addition to the three games he played for the Cowboys last year, Burton was active for three games in 2018 between the Falcons and Colts.
Multiple teams have been intrigued by Deante Burton since he went undrafted in 2017. He was a receiver in college and joined the Falcons as a free agent, but didn't make it past final cuts. Burton was converted to cornerback after being signed to Atlanta's practice squad.
Since them, Deante has been poached and given looks by the Packers (while Mike McCarthy was head coach), Texans, Colts, and Cowboys. And despite their already overflowing options at corner for 2020, Dallas is bringing Burton back for another opportunity.
Burton turns 26 in July and may lose the battle to younger options. But having just started playing the CB position three years ago, he may still have some room to grow despite being a little older.
Of course, a lot of things will have to go right for Deante to make the Cowboys roster this year. Perhaps one of Chidobe Awuzie or Daryl Worley will wind up at safety, and maybe Jourdan Lewis will be traded away.
In the end, though, it will come down to Burton outplaying guys like C.J. Goodwin, Saivion Smith, and Chris Westry to be the next man up if an opportunity comes. And given the current numbers, that may not even be realistic.
Realistically, Deante Burton probably isn't making the team in 2020. But being on last year's roster helps, and the possibility to return is there if some things go his way.