A cornerback the Cowboys should target in free agency

Xavier Rhodes, Indianapolis Colts (Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Xavier Rhodes, Indianapolis Colts (Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys are likely attempting to sign multiple free agents this offseason, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Although quarterback Dak Prescott is probably the Cowboys’ biggest concern as of now, they will hopefully resolve that situation in the coming days.

After Prescott, Dallas’ main priority should be looking to improve their defense. This unit ranked 26th in interceptions (10), 28th in points per game (29.6), and 26th in yards allowed per completion (11.1).

As a result, the Cowboys will likely need to acquire a cornerback through free agency to help with this secondary. With Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis probably leaving for free agency, this leaves Dallas’ cornerback unit in a hopeless situation. Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown would be the only two cornerbacks on their roster that played at least 45 percent of Dallas’ snaps on defense last season.

On the positive side, the Cowboys do have the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft. With that pick, they should be able to select one of the top cornerbacks. However, if they don’t, this might hurt Dallas’ talent in the secondary.

With very little money to spend in free agency, only having an estimated $18.3 million in cap space according to spotrac.com, the Cowboys should be looking at cornerbacks in free agency who aren’t worth an extreme price. Additionally, Dallas could be looking at a veteran cornerback to accompany the younger talent in the secondary.

What cornerback should the Dallas Cowboys target in free agency?

One cornerback that the Cowboys should target is Xavier Rhodes. Although Rhodes likely isn’t the biggest name in the cornerback market, he can be a valuable asset to Dallas’ secondary.

The former three-time Pro Bowler is arguably coming off his best season since 2017. This past season for the Indianapolis Colts, Rhodes had 42 tackles, 12 passes deflected, and two interceptions. He also allowed a whopping 51.9 percent completion rate on passes thrown his way.

This was a huge increase from Rhodes’ 2019 season with the Minnesota Vikings. In that season, he allowed 66 completions on 81 passes thrown his way (81.5 percent). However, his improvement could be a good sign for teams needing cornerback help like the Cowboys.

Additionally, his estimated market value can be seen as a positive for the Dallas Cowboys. The former All-Pro cornerback is expected to receive a two-year contract worth about $14.74 million, according to spotrac.com. His $7.3 million annual salary could be seen as a match made in heaven for the Cowboys.

Rhodes, 30, would likely provide a veteran presence to a secondary that lacks experience too. Diggs (22) and Brown (27) could use a veteran in the locker room. Also, if the Cowboys decide to select a cornerback in this year’s draft, this could help the young rookie develop.

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Although it is likely a longshot to sign free agent cornerbacks like Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, and Shaquill Griffin because of their asking price, Rhodes is likely the next best thing. It’s safe to assume that the former Florida State star still has some left in the tank and could be beneficial to the Dallas Cowboys roster in 2021.