Dallas Cowboys: 4 second-wave free agents that still make sense

Tennessee Titans defensive lineman DaQuan Jones (90) (George Walker/The Tennessean via USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee Titans defensive lineman DaQuan Jones (90) (George Walker/The Tennessean via USA TODAY Sports) /
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Casey Hayward, Dallas Cowboys
Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward (26) (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys remained relatively quiet through the first wave of free agency that kicked off last Monday with the start of the legal tampering period. With the second wave of signings soon to come, the Cowboys could find themselves a few bargain signings that could have a major impact in 2021.

With that in mind, here are four possible signings that we believe still make sense as we shift into the next phase of free agency …

Casey Hayward, Cornerback

Prior to the start of free agency, the Cowboys knew there was work to be done at cornerback. That was due to three of their corners being scheduled to hit free agency themselves in Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and C.J. Goodwin.

In response, the Cowboys re-signed both Lewis and Goodwin. But the team lost Awuzie, who ultimately decided to join the Cincinnati Bengals. With veteran Anthony Brown and second-year phenom Trevon Diggs also on the depth chart, Dallas appears one high-draft pick away from locking down the cornerback position in 2021.

But even if the Cowboys elect to draft a corner high in April, rookie defensive backs are notorious for needing extra time to adapt to play at the NFL-level. For most, it seems their first season in the league is considered a wash.

If the Cowboys coaching staff feels the same, bringing in a veteran corner to secure the position might be a wise move. But you certainly don’t want to break the bank to do so. That’s where signing a free agent veteran like cornerback Casey Hayward could make some sense.

Coming off a down season with the Los Angeles Chargers, the 31-year old Hayward could be the perfect bridge player for Dallas. A two-time Pro Bowler, he’s just a year removed from receiving an overall high grade of 83.0 from Pro Football Focus (PFF) for his play.

In Hayward, you’d be getting an experienced veteran with 95 NFL starts under his belt who could push for a starting role in Dallas without being a progress stopper for Diggs and any rookie corners Dallas decides to bring in. Hayward recorded 41 tackles, eight pass deflections, and one interception in 14 games for the Chargers last season.