Going into this offseason it was clear that the Dallas Cowboys would need to make some changes defensively. After all, this unit was one of the worst in the NFL last season when it came to rushing yards allowed (158.8 yards per game) and points allowed (29.6 points per game).
That’s the main reason the Cowboys opted to part ways with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan this offseason after a single year in Dallas. In his place, the team hired former Atlanta Falcons head coach, Dan Quinn.
One area that figured to see a lot of change this offseason was the Cowboys’ secondary. That mainly due to free agency. Starting cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis plus starting safety Xavier Woods were all products of the 2017 NFL Draft. And all have expiring rookie contracts making them free agents this offseason as a result.
With the legal tampering period of free agency kicking off this past Monday, and the official start beginning on Wednesday afternoon, the immediate futures of two of these three Cowboys’ defenders have been determined.
First, Awuzie agreed to a three-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals for a reported $21.75 million according to NFL.com. Woods is still available on the open market and could be brought back to Dallas.
On Wednesday night it was reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the Cowboys have agreed to re-sign Lewis to a new three-year deal worth a maximum of $16.5 million. That includes $8 million guaranteed.
Lewis will help stabilize a secondary that still figures to add a high draft pick at the cornerback position in April’s NFL draft. Both veteran Anthony Brown and 2020 rookie Trevon Diggs were penciled-in to be starters going into next season. Lewis will likely now assume the role as the starting slot corner in Quinn’s new secondary.
Last season, Jourdan Lewis recorded a career-high 59 tackles and seven tackles for loss in his fourth season with the Dallas Cowboys. But he only posted two pass deflections and had no interceptions. Lewis has found a niche as a pass rusher the past two seasons, racking up 6.0 total sacks in that span.