Dallas Cowboys Should Focus on Cornerbacks in 2015


Nov 2, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Tyler Patmon (20) returns an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Everyday I think about the condition of our Dallas Cowboys and I’m so proud to be a part of Cowboy Nation. The organization has made improvements from the top down. Owner and GM Jerry Jones is no longer the laughing stock of the NFL. Our head coach Jason Garrett finally had a season without making errors with clock mismanagement and broke his string of 8 – 8 seasons. Even though this team saw numerous players deal with injuries, the door at Valley Ranch wasn’t revolving nearly as fast as it had been in the past few years. Things are looking up.

Overall, the team has gotten younger, stronger, faster and smarter in multiple posititions. Last year’s surprise pick for me was wide receiver Devin Street. Prior to that was the selection of tight end Gavin Escobar. There’s usually a position that the Cowboys will draft just to have a guy waiting in the wings. The guy they want to groom and develop during the season. Linebacker Anthony Hitchens was well prepared and performed when he took the field. His only flaw was a lack of pass rushing moves when blitzing off the edge.

I’m predicting that the Cowboys allow cornerback Tyler Patmon to get a major increase in playing time with the departure of Morris Claiborne. Before the 2014 season, I wrote about the future of the Cowboys defense and predicted:

"“The first pass thrown towards Patmon will be intercepted and returned for a touchdown. In the endzone, Patmon will wave his hand, turning every cup of water in the stadium into Tito’s vodka (I’m not a wine drinker). Patmon will never leave the field again and Claiborne becomes the endless subject of trade rumors. Patmon has potential and I hope he develops better than former Cowboys cornerback – Mike Jenkins.”"

When Patmon got his pick six (an interception returned for a touchdown) against Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, I immediately checked my cup. With the pending release of cornerback Brandon Carr, the Cowboys are really thin at the position. As of today, the Cowboys only have cornerbacks Orlando Scandrick and Patmon under contract. Sterling Moore is a restricted free agent.

That’s why I’ll predict that the Cowboys will sign a veteran corner at the right price to add depth. They’ll also draft a cornerback within the first three rounds and invite a horde of undrafted free agent corners into our rookie camp. That starts the debate: Can rookie cornerbacks produce in the NFL?

YearMost InterceptionsInt’sMost Passes DefensedPD’s
2007Leon Hall
Reggie Nelson (tie)
5Darrelle Revis20
2008Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Aqib Talib (tie)
4Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie23
2009Derek Cox
Vontae Davis (tie)
4Jacob Lacey16
2010Devin McCourty7Devin McCourty
Joe Haden (tie)
2011Richard Sherman4Richard Sherman21
2012Casey Hayward6Casey Hayward27
2013Logan Ryan5Marcus Cooper21
2014Kyle Fuller4Bashaud Breeland
E.J. Gaines (tie)

These numbers say that rookies can produce but it depends on the coaching staff and the players talent. Sometimes they are treated like rookie quarterbacks. Some believe it’s best to start them immediately and others want them to learn on the sideline for a while.

The players on this chart were found all over the draft. In 2014, Fuller was a first round pick while Breeland was chosen in the fourth. Richard Sherman was selected in the fifth round of the the 2011 draft. That’s why I’m a huge supporter of bringing everyone into camp and allowing them compete.

I think this should be the year of the cornerback for the Cowboys. That means, I can’t wait for training camp. Remember when Allen Iverson entered the league and introduced his crossover dribble to Michael Jordan? All young guns are ready to try their skills against the best. That’s what they’ll face trying to cover Dez Bryant in practice. As a result, Bryant should make our cornerbacks better.



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