Dallas Cowboys: Is this defensive player underrated?

Jaylon Smith, Anthony Brown, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Jaylon Smith, Anthony Brown, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Every team has underrated players. Is this Dallas Cowboys’ cornerback underrated?

What is an underrated player? It is someone more valuable or someone that plays better than people believe they do. The Dallas Cowboys have one defender that may fit into this description.

Cornerback Anthony Brown was a former sixth-round pick and had his snaps high at one point, but ultimately dropped recently. Is he an underrated player for the Cowboys?

The 2016 draft class for the Dallas Cowboys was a great one highlighted by the likes of running back Ezekiel Elliott, quarterback Dak Prescott, and linebacker Jaylon Smith. What many people don’t know is Brown was a sixth-rounder in that draft class.

In the first season of his career, he had a respectable 55 tackles along with one interception and eight passes defended. This was while playing only 68 percent of the defensive snaps.

The following season would be the best of his four-year career thus far. His snaps increased to 86 percent, along with one more interception, three more passes defended, and 1.0 more sack than his rookie season. His tackles only increased to 56, but he proved to be a decent corner.

The 2018 season saw his snaps drop to 67 percent, followed by 27 percent last season. Part of the reason Brown had only 27 percent of the defensive snaps in 2019 was due to a season-ending triceps injury limiting him to playing only nine games.

In this time, another Cowboy in Jourdan Lewis had emerged as a very reliable slot cornerback. In comparing Lewis to Brown, the latter does a better job in coverage but misses twice the amount of tackles.

Despite Lewis playing in seven more games, Brown missed three more tackles in 2019. On the flip side, Brown held quarterback to 8.8 percent fewer completions and a lower passer rating by 6.9.

What is Anthony Brown’s current value?

Owner Jerry Jones and co. clearly like Brown enough to sign him to a three-year deal this offseason. His average annual value of $5.17 million has him making $1.67 million more than cornerback Jimmy Smith.

Brown is a good number three corner against the pass. Lewis would be utilized against the run, a blitzing corner, or in situations where they need a secure tackler.

Any team would be lucky to have Brown listed as their number three or number four corner. He is underrated in the sense that I rarely hear his name brought up.

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With the departure of Byron Jones, a bigger role is going to be given to cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, and second-round pick Trevon Diggs is expected to slide in as the number two corner.

Brown can put up a fight to be the number two corner on the Cowboys but is being left out of the conversation for players that need to step up this season. His consistency getting his hands on the ball and limiting completions makes him a low-end number two/high-end number three corner.

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By how the average person views Brown, I think he is underrated. By how Jerry paid him, Brown must take a step up to be a decent number two corner. How do you view Anthony Brown?