When the Dallas Cowboys lost Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins in free agency, it left them with a big hole at corner. In the NFL Draft, the Cowboys addressed the position in the second round by taking Trevon Diggs out of Alabama, a long and physical 6’1 205-pounder with excellent ball skills (thanks to his days as a receiver). In the fourth round, they doubled dipped at corner by selecting Reggie Robinson from Tulsa, another long and physical corner who could transition to safety if need be.
These two young studs could very well be the Cowboys starters on the outside in 2020, especially with rumors of Chidobe Awuzie possibly moving to safety. However, the nickel or slot corner position will have an interesting battle for supremacy between Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown.
Brown has a ton of experience in his first four years in the league after being drafted by the Cowboys in 2016 out of Purdue. He’s started 34 of the 56 games he’s been available to play in racking up 172 tackles, 32 pass breakups, four interceptions, three forced fumbles, and three sacks.
There has been some inconsistency at times, though, particularly in 2017 when he was benched in favor of Awuzie. Unfortunately, Brown had a few injuries in 2019. A hamstring issue forced him to miss a Week 7 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. The biggest blow came in November when Brown would suffer a season-ending triceps injury. He’ll have an uphill climb to regain his spot on the depth chart.
Lewis was taken in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Michigan and immediately showed he was a player. Totaling 54 tackles, 10 pass breakups, and an interception in seven starts Lewis looked to take the next step in his progression the following season, but there was a little hiccup. The Cowboys hired Kris Richard as the team’s defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator. Richard preferred long and lengthy corners, and at 5’10, Lewis got lost in the shuffle. He would only register 12 tackles, a pass breakup, an interception, and two fumble recoveries.
In 2019, however, Lewis got to see a lot of action due to Brown missing seven games with multiple injuries, and he took full advantage. Lewis had his best season as a pro with 51 tackles, six pass breakups, two interceptions, four sacks, and a fumble recovery (ran back for a touchdown). Showing the talent that made him one of the top corners coming out of college two years earlier, Lewis has put his name at the top of the list as far as nickel corners go for the Cowboys.
This will be an interesting battle to keep an eye on during the summer. Brown just signed a three-year deal worth 15.5 million in March, that coupled with him recovering from an injury, he’ll have plenty of motivation to reclaim his spot. Lewis is out to prove, again, that despite his height he’s a baller. Also, this is a contract year for him so he’ll be looking to secure the bag as well. Lewis’s consistency and ball-hawking ability give him the edge, but regardless of who wins, the Cowboys have two really good nickel corners on their roster.