While keeping quarterback Dak Prescott and his top target Amari Cooper around for the 2020 season stole most of the headlines, the Cowboys suffered a pair of big losses on the defensive side of the ball.
Defensive end and 2019 team sack leader Robert Quinn headed off to Chicago, earning a hefty pay day with the Bears. Former All Pro cornerback Byron Jones got his big day as well, heading to the Miami Dolphins early on in free agency.
These departures have opened up a couple of holes across the Dallas defense, and while they addressed the interior of their defensive line through veteran signings, their defensive back group is still looking somewhat suspect.
Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report wrote about each team’s biggest “red flag” ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft, granting that title in Dallas to the cornerbacks.
“The loss of Byron Jones opens up an even bigger void at cornerback. The Cowboys have Chidobe Awuzie to hold down one spot on the outside, and they re-upped Anthony Brown. But Brown is better suited to the slot, and the other options on the roster don’t inspire a ton of confidence as a starter.”
It’s hard to argue with Gary here. Chidobe Awuzie is better than he gets credit for, and under a new coaching staff he could be set to take a nice step forward in 2020. Even with that being said, the combination of Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis may not be enough to offset the loss of Byron Jones.
This would lead anyone to look towards the draft, but in a year where many teams seem cornerback-needy, there may not be enough top end talent to meet the demand. My favorite option in the first round would be Florida cornerback CJ Henderson, but who’s to say he’ll even be around come pick 17?
The x factor here is Jourdan Lewis.
Lewis has become a fan favorite among Cowboys Nation since being drafted in 2017, and most of the time his play has backed it up. Where most of the Cowboys defenders have failed to get around the ball and create turnovers, Lewis has proved to be an instant playmaker.
Don’t be surprised if Jourdan Lewis takes a nice step himself, and becomes the Cowboys best cornerback this Fall.