In a somewhat surprising move, the Dallas Cowboys are reportedly releasing veteran cornerback Nolan Carroll later today. The move comes after Carroll has missed the last few weeks with a concussion, allowing rookie Jourdan Lewis to move up the depth chart.
The news was broken by Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network:
Cowboys are releasing CB Nolan Carroll, source says. He’s been out with a concussion. Jourdan Lewis has stepped up.
I say this move is “somewhat surprising” because, back in June, I proposed the idea that Carroll might not even make it through final cuts. He was signed before Dallas selected Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Marquez White (who’s still on the practice squad) in the 2017 NFL Draft. Especially after Nolan was arrested for a DWI in late May, I thought he could be on the way out.
Once Nolan Carroll made the team, though, I didn’t think anything would happen until the next offseason. Just a few weeks ago I proposed that Carroll could go the way of Cedric Thornton; a veteran free agent signing who was quickly phased out by a standout rookie. I never would’ve guessed that it would happen this quickly.
This move will cost the Cowboys about $3 million in guaranteed money from the three-year deal they gave Carroll last March. His 2018 cap hit was scheduled to be $4 million, though, so even with this early release there’s still a little cap relief going forward.
One thing clear from this move is that Jourdan Lewis is locked in as one of your top cornerbacks going forward. Also, they must be comfortable with veteran Bene Benwikere as the fourth cornerback. Perhaps they will call up sixth-round rookie Marquez White from the practice quad to take Carroll’s place on the 53-man roster.