Dallas Cowboys: Major position battle set at cornerback this summer

Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are set to have a major position battle at cornerback this summer

After posting their worst record since 2015, the 8-8 Dallas Cowboys made several changes to both their coaching staff and roster this offseason. One area of particular interest were the moves made in the secondary.

The Cowboys lost Pro Bowl cornerback, Byron Jones, to free agency. Yet, the team still has a trio of veterans in Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown at the position.

Dallas also added free agents cornerbacks Daryl Worley and Maurice Canady this offseason. The Cowboys then drafted Alabama’s Trevon Diggs and Tulsa’s Reggie Robinson II in the draft.

Add those names to all the other cornerbacks currently listed on the Cowboys’ roster via the team’s official website which include C.J. Goodwin, Deante Burton, Saivion Smith, Chris Westry, and D.J. White. Suddenly, the cornerback position in Dallas is overflowing with candidates.

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For those counting, that’s 12 cornerbacks for new defensive back coaches Maurice Linguist and Al Harris to develop and eventually choose from this summer. There’s also a chance one or more of these numerous corners could be converted to safety.

This defensive dozen should make for one of the most competitive positional battles for the Cowboys in recent memory. When asked in a mailbag question which defense player has the most to prove this summer, DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer Rob Phillips referred to this positional logjam.

"“On defense, just give me the entire cornerback group. I can’t remember a more wide-open competition on this team in the past 10 years – maybe receiver in 2018 after Dez Bryant was released.”"

The Dallas Cowboys must avoid this 2018 debacle

For those who don’t remember, the 2018 regular season was a turbulent time for the Cowboys’ wide receiver corps. The release of longtime number one receiver Dez Bryant led to the team initially fielding one of their weakest positional units.

With the misguided idea of forming a receiver-by-committee, the Cowboys’ depth chart at receiver included Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson, Tavon Austin, and rookie Michael Gallup. Two years later, only Gallup remains in Dallas.

After losing four out of their seven games in 2018, the Cowboys decided to trade a future first-round selection to the Oakland Raiders for Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper. That move was credited for turning the season around for Dallas, resulting in the team winning seven of their final eight games, winning the NFC East, and earning themselves a playoff berth.

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The Dallas Cowboys certainly have to hope they will not have a repeat of 2018, with mediocre receiver play being replaced by mediocre cornerback play despite a large pool of candidates. But perhaps the added competition will actually force the cream to rise to the top and result in better overall secondary play in 2020.