When free agency begins in March, the Dallas Cowboys will be one of the most interesting teams to watch. With 25 unrestricted free agents set to hit the open market, 15 on defense, this roster is set to have an entirely different look in 2020.
Byron Jones, the Cowboys top corner, is one of the biggest names in the NFL that will hit free agency. Likely to demand a hefty price tag, and rightfully so, Jones could possibly have seen his last days in Dallas. Knowing this potential reality makes a decision on a player like Cornerback Anthony Brown that much more interesting as far as the offseason plans go.
Brown was drafted in the sixth round back in 2016. During his first three seasons, he was pretty solid logging 30 starts. He registered 155 tackles, 27 passes defended, four interceptions, three forced fumbles, and three sacks. Considering he was primarily the third option at cornerback, those numbers are extremely respectable.
In 2019, however, Brown only logged four starts, due to a couple of reasons. The main factor that caused a reduction in Brown’s snaps was the rise of Jourdan Lewis. Finally getting to show what he can bring to the table, Lewis pushed Brown down the depth chart as he logged five starts and produced 51 tackles, six passes defended, four sacks and two interceptions. Also, Brown suffered a torn triceps muscle in November vs the Detroit Lions that ended his season.
Now, he’s set to be an unrestricted free agent and could cause a blow to the Cowboys depth at corner if both he and the aforementioned Jones leave the building. Having said this, bringing back Brown is something the Cowboys should consider for a few reasons.
The first is what I just mentioned, depth. Lewis and three-year starter Chidobe Awuzie are entering contract seasons in 2020. Having as many capable bodies in your secondary, especially in a league predicated to throwing the football, can’t be undervalued. Second, Brown could really push Awuzie, who saw his play regress quite a bit last season. If Jones doesn’t return, Brown would be able to challenge Awuzie for the number two spot behind Lewis, who would almost certainly take over as the top corner. Lastly, his price wouldn’t be that high, especially since it would only be a short-term deal.
Brown isn’t a corner you’re going to build your secondary around but he’s a solid piece to have on your roster. Depth is always important which makes the decision on Brown this offseason one to keep an eye on.