After losing Byron Jones in free agency, cornerback has become a top need for the Dallas Cowboys. Jones signed a big-time deal with the Miami Dolphins and he’ll surely do very well as he’s done in the past couple of years. Meanwhile, as of right now, the Cowboys are headed toward 2020 with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis as their two starting cornerbacks. This brings up the question: Can they add another free agent before the NFL Draft?
Anthony Brown signed a contract extension with the team, providing the defensive backfield much-needed depth. However, the defense is missing starters. Awuzie and Lewis have both shown signs of promise, but the Cowboys are likely to keep on looking for a more reliable alternative.
All signs point toward the 2020 NFL Draft, where pick #17 should secure the team a year one starter cornerback prospect. This class has plenty of first-round prospects such as Florida’s C.J. Henderson or LSU’s Kristian Fulton, so the front office should have options when they’re on the clock.
But what about free agency? This year didn’t feature many big names at the position other than Byron Jones (sigh) but other options raise an eyebrow.
Former New England Patriot and Tennessee Titan Logan Ryan comes to mind. One of the top defensive backs available, Ryan’s market should be interesting to watch. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, his asking price begins at $10M and is willing to take a short-term deal.
Touched base with someone close to #Titans free agent CB Logan Ryan, one of the top players available. The versatile DB is open to entertaining all offers and will consider a short term deal. I’m told he won’t take less than $10M per year he earned last year.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2020
Ryan’s versatility has earned him comparisons to Tyrann Mathieu. Although he’s played primarily at cornerback, playing safety is also a possibility for Ryan. His instincts make him a force on defense, contributing to run defense as well as in coverage. Last year, he finished with 113 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 18 pass deflections, and four forced fumbles. All of these were career highs for the 29-year-old defensive back.
Since joining the league in 2013, Ryan has 17 interceptions including four in 2019. Could he be the playmaker the Cowboys defense needs? The Titans’ Divisional Round matchup against the Baltimore Ravens comes to mind when he led his defense with 13 tackles and was all over the field.
At the very least, the Cowboys should consider signing him to a one-year deal. This wouldn’t really change the team’s need for a cornerback in the first round, but would provide the team with a week 1 starter for the 2020 season.