The Dallas Cowboy sent shockwaves around the NFL when they traded for star cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Though no longer the league’s premier cornerback like he was during his prime, Gilmore still has CB1 potential, which makes the pairing of him and ballhawk Trevon Diggs all the more exciting.
It was a given Dallas would add a cornerback this offseason, but most talking heads presumed it would come through the draft.
The crazy thing is that could still happen. Dallas could still draft a cornerback, most likely in the second or third round instead of the first, but Gilmore turns 33 in September and his entering the final year of his contract.
He’s clearly a rental.
As far as rentals go, though, it’s hard to get more excited for one. Adding a player of Gilmore’s pedigree will pay dividends on the field and behind the scenes, where he’ll serve as a mentor and leader to his new teammates.
The cherry on top of this cake, however, is the fact that Gilmore and his family are lifelong Cowboys fans! Check out this quote from Gilly.
New Cowboys CB Stephon Gilmore is a lifelong Dallas fan
How about that, Cowboys Nation?
It’s one thing to add premium-level players to a roster. It’s something entirely different to add premium-level players who grew up fans of the team. It’s why we so often see free agents sign with teams from their home state, or players later on in their career return home.
Rock Hill, South Carolina is home for Gilmore, and he spent most of his career in the Northeast with the Bills (2012-16) and Patriots (2017-2020) before he was traded home to Carolina during the 2021 offseason and signed with the Colts as a free agent last April.
Though a long way from home, Gilmore has to feel some level of comfort (and pressure) joining the team he grew up rooting for.
"“It’s going to be great,” Gilmore said of the trade, via Patrik Walker of Cowboys.com. “Obviously, you have to work hard and put the work in, but those guys have been great players in this league. I’m just trying to come in and add my piece to the puzzle. I’m looking forward to competing with people like CeeDee Lamb in practice, getting better, even Dak [Prescott].“He’s a great quarterback. I’m looking forward to going for the championship. That’s what we play the game for.”"
We’ve said it a lot to start the offseason (go figure, right?) but it deserves reiterating: the Cowboys front office deserves its flowers.
That’s not to say their job is done, but between landing Gilmore, re-signing Donovan Wilson, Leighton Vander Esch, and CJ Goodwin, reworking Tyron Smith’s contract, and yes, releasing Ezekiel Elliott, they’ve hardly put a foot wrong in the early goings.
Rental or not, Gilmore was a fantastic get for the Cowboys. If it’s possible, fans should love the trade even more after these comments.