For these five veteran defenders, could 2020 be their final season playing with the Dallas Cowboys?
This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys parted ways with longtime head coach Jason Garrett and hired the offensive-minded Mike McCarthy to replace him. And although McCarthy made sweeping changes to the entire coaching staff, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore remains.
While the offense retained its head coordinator, the defense was a different story. Mike Nolan has replaced Rod Marinelli as defensive coordinator and there are new positional coaches for the defensive line, linebackers, and defensive backs.
This regime change figures to impact the futures of some longtime Cowboys’ defenders beyond this upcoming season. With a new coaching staff to impress, here are five defensive payers in Dallas who might be entering their final year with the Cowboys.
Jourdan Lewis, CB
After a strong rookie season, former 2017 third-round selection Jourdan Lewis saw his playing time diminished under former passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach Kris Richard. The once Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator and coach of the Legion of Boom favored larger cornerbacks over the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Lewis.
During his first two seasons, Lewis saw his defensive snaps fall from 746 as a rookie to a mere 187 in 2018. Last year, the 24-year old defensive back saw those snaps rise to 589 with fellow corner Anthony Brown landing on Injured Reserve in November.
Lewis recorded 51 tackles, six pass deflections, two interceptions in five starts in 2019. He also had a scoop-n-score fumble recovery for a touchdown.
With Pro Bowl cornerback Byron Jones leaving the Cowboys via free agency this offseason, and a new coaching staff in place, Lewis figured to have a real opportunity to start again this season. And that’s important considering he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal in Dallas.
But the team brought in a slew of new faces this offseason in cornerbacks Maurice Canady, Trevon Diggs, Reggie Robinson II, and Daryl Worley. All of them being 6-foot-1 or taller. So, it seems the new coaching staff in Dallas apparently shares the same affinity for big cornerbacks as the old one did. And that’s not a good sign for the talented Mr. Lewis.