The Dallas Cowboys lost their top cornerback when Byron Jones went to the Miami Dolphins in free agency. With an obvious hole to fill, the Cowboys responded by not only adding multiple pieces at the position in the NFL Draft but also via free agency, giving the Cowboys a nice collection of talent across the board.
Now with the pieces in place, this is how I see the Cowboys cornerback depth chart playing out.
After stealing Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cowboys made waves again just a round later when they snagged Cornerback Trevon Diggs out of Alabama. Diggs, at around 6’2 and 205 pounds, has a rare combination of size and length at the cornerback position. As a former receiver, he has very good ball skills and can read the instincts of his opponent and use his size to disrupt routes. Even as a rookie, look for him to lead the way as the Cowboys CB1.
Maurice Canady, signed in March, will provide veteran experience behind Diggs. In his four years in the NFL, Canady has appeared in 32 games with four starts (three starts in 2019 for the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens).
Veteran cornerback Daryl Worley, who put ink to paper on a Cowboys deal in April, will likely be the starter opposite Diggs as CB2. Worley has more game experience than the aforementioned Canady even though they both entered the league in 2016. He’s started 49 of the 56 games he’s appeared in with 34 pass breakups (no less than eight in any season) and five interceptions.
Just behind him is where you’ll find rookie Reggie Robinson out of Tulsa, a second/third-round talent who the Cowboys stole in the fourth round with the 123rd pick. Much like rookie counterpart Diggs, Robinson has the size and length at around 6’2 and 205 pounds. In his four years in college, he had 34 pass breakups and four interceptions (also blocked four kicks in college). Robinson is a very solid piece to have in the event Worley struggles.
The nickel/slot cornerback position will have some stiff competition between Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown. Due to new Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan’s scheme which will look to create more turnovers I feel Lewis has the leg up on Brown. When Brown went down with a triceps injury last season, Lewis showed his worth after being held back under Kris Richard who wanted bigger and longer corners in his scheme. Lewis finished tied for the team lead with two interceptions and recorded four sacks.
Brown has been a solid corner himself since entering the NFL in 2016. He’s gotten great experience starting 33 of a possible 56 games and registering four interceptions, 32 pass breakups, and three forced fumbles. Brown is a nice option to have behind Lewis and push him for the top spot in the nickel/slot role.
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention Chidobe Awuzie, and there’s a reason for that. It’s been suggested for quite some time that he may be headed for a switch to safety, which he gained experience playing during his days at Colorado. Last season, Awuzie struggled to keep his head around and was beaten on routes more than the Cowboys would have liked. The hope is that a switch to safety will help Awuzie, who is very talented despite his struggles, keep the ball in front of him and make plays. If and when this switch happens, he’ll be a solid piece behind Xavier Woods at free safety or he could possibly challenge Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at strong safety.
The Cowboys have retooled at the cornerback position nicely after losing their top guy. The depth is there and no corner is over the age of 26. Now all that’s left to see is how it will all mesh together as a unit.