Dallas Cowboys to meet with CB Leodis McKelvin


Free agent cornerback Leodis McKelvin is scheduled to meet with the Dallas Cowboys this week according to a source.

Although NFL free agency is scheduled to officially kick off tomorrow, rumors have been swirling throughout the internet about future moves within this two day legal tampering period. That includes possible signings by the Dallas Cowboys.

Despite various needs across their roster, the Cowboys aren’t expected to make any big splashes in free agency, as they have made it clear in the past that they prefer to build their team through the draft. Still, due to their numerous needs, Dallas can not simply rely on rookies to fill all of their voids. So the Cowboys are expected to be bargain hunters through free agency this offseason.

One of the positions the Cowboys are expected to focus heavily on this offseason is cornerback. Starting corners Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr could both be playing for different teams next season. Claiborne is an unrestricted free agent whom Dallas is unlikely to re-sign. And Carr, who still has two-years left on a five-year, $50.1 million deal, could be cut this offseason due to his inflated price tag and poor play.

Dallas is expected to get veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick back following a devastating knee injury he suffered in training camp last year that robbed him of his entire season. And the Cowboys invested a first round pick in defensive back Byron Jones last year, and he could easily fill the other vacant starting role. But Dallas likely wishes to shift Jones from corner to free safety, which is viewed as a better fit for his skill set.

That leaves the Cowboys with a possible void to fill at cornerback. Enter in free agent defensive back Leodis McKelvin. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the 30-year old veteran is scheduled to meet with the Cowboys after visiting the Philadelphia Eagles.

McKelvin is a former first round selection (11th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft. He’s spent his entire eight-year career as a professional with the Buffalo Bills. McKelvin’s best season was in 2013 when he recorded a career-high 72 total tackles and 19 pass defends.

Turning 31 right before the new season starts, McKelvin isn’t the typical free agent prospect the Cowboys current regime invests in. They tend to look for younger, unproven players that were high draft picks.

Last season, McKelvin recorded 32 total tackles, had nine pass defended and two interceptions in nine games. The emergence of Bills rookie Ronald Darby made the veteran expendable in Buffalo.

Last season, Pro Football Focus ranked McKelvin as the 76th best overall cornerback in the NFL. That was three spots below where PFF ranked Brandon Carr in 2015. But McKelvin has also recorded six interceptions in the past two seasons despite only playing in 19 total games due to an ankle injury. And Carr hasn’t recorded a single takeaway in over two years.

In McKelvin, the Cowboys are trying to find value in a player who has vast experience and may be a bit under the radar due to a minor injury. Expect more of the same as Dallas moves methodically through free agency this offseason.

Update: Just over an hour after this story was published, McKelvin signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.

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