One of the biggest talking points after the draft was how much pressure is now on Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. While this is true, they aren’t the only ones who should be feeling the heat right now. The Cowboys invested three of their 11 draft picks on cornerback, signaling that the leashes have shortened significantly for the veterans on the roster in Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and Maurice Canady.
- Trevon Diggs showed enough as a rookie to prove he is going to be a part of the Cowboys’ long-term plans at the position.
- Kelvin Joseph was widely regarded as a 1st round talent that slid due to non-football reasons.
In a perfect world, those two are going to eat up the majority of the snaps at CB moving forward.
Maurice Canady is a guy I was excited to have as a depth piece before he opted out of the 2020 season, but at this point, I would be shocked if he makes the roster to open the season. His best path to playing time is carving out a role on special teams.
Third-round pick Nahshon Wright is a developmental piece, so that leaves room for Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis for now. However, if Wright develops quicker than expected it will make for some tough decisions as he has the ideal size Quinn prefers in his secondary.
If this happens I think Anthony Brown could become a cap casualty after this season. Brown is scheduled to make 6.5 million dollars in the 2022 season, and if he doesn’t show he can be an integral part of improving the defense I think it would make sense to take the small hit to free up the additional cap space.
Jourdan Lewis’s ability to defend out of the slot and his lower contract number work in his favor in projecting a roster spot in 2022, but there is an opt-out in his contract that could free up roughly three million if the Cowboys decide to continue the youth movement in the secondary after this season.
Change is definitely in the air in Dallas after last season’s historically bad defensive effort, and the pressure is rightly on every veteran on the roster. Anything less than an NFC East title is a failure this season, and any veteran that isn’t going to play an integral part in that needs to be moved on from to let the incoming youth get much-needed reps.