The Dallas Cowboys have put together a nice collection of talent at the cornerback position. In the NFL Draft, they added Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson, two ball-hawking corners with potential through the roof. Jourdan Lewis, who has shined when he’s been given opportunities, is looking to be the top guy at the nickel/slot corner position. Chidobe Awuzie had a rough 2019, but entering a contract season, he’ll be motivated to finally reach his ceiling in the pros. Veterans Daryl Worley and Maurice Canady, who signed during free agency, provide more depth and experience to the unit.
There’s one member of the cornerback room that isn’t being talked about enough and that’s veteran Anthony Brown. After signing a three-year, 15.5 million dollar extension in March, Brown will attempt to validate the Cowboys belief in him as a valuable piece of the secondary, but it won’t be easy for him to do so.
The biggest threat to Brown is the aforementioned Lewis who he’ll battle for the top spot at nickel/slot corner. New Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan will be looking to get the best players on the field no matter their size unlike previous secondary coach Kris Richard who kept Lewis on the shelf because he’s only 5’10. Just watching both on film, it’s clear Lewis is naturally more gifted in coverage and has better ball skills. Now, with Nolan’s scheme geared towards creating turnovers, Lewis has a shot to showcase his ball-hawking talent which could allow him to surpass Brown.
Since entering the NFL, the best word to associate with Brown would be solid. In his first three seasons (2016-2018) he appeared in 47 out of 48 games with 29 starts. He recorded at least one interception, no less than eight pass breakups, and averaged over 50 tackles over that span. Unfortunately in 2019, his season was cut short after suffering a triceps injury vs the Detroit Lions. He appeared in the Cowboys first nine games with four starts.
He may not be a lockdown Pro Bowl/All-Pro corner but Brown is talented in his own right and a viable piece to the Cowboys secondary. If he is beaten out by Lewis for nickel/slot duties he’ll provide excellent insurance behind him. However, as mentioned earlier, Brown signed his name to a new deal this offseason which will undoubtedly motivate him to earn that role over Lewis.
Competition brings out the best in athletes and Brown will have plenty of it in 2020. Will that be enough to push him to the top of the depth chart? We shall see.