It’s been a pleasure to watch the Dallas Cowboys be aggressive in plugging roster holes this offseason.
By beating other teams to the punch with Donovan Wilson and Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys ensured their three-headed monster at safety will remain in tact and that their run defense won’t take a step back. Re-signing Johnathan Hankins will also play a huge role in the latter.
By adding Stephon Gilmore, Dallas shored up arguably their weakest position. That’s no knock against DaRon Bland, but fans are right to be skeptical if the 2022 fifth-round pick was ready to be the No. 2 behind Trevon Diggs.
With Bland and the ascending Israel Mukuamu, the Cowboys now have three cornerbacks who can man the slot. Though Bland is more adept in the nickel, he got some run on the outside as a rookie; 78 snaps to be exact, per PFF.
On the surface, it’s a deep cornerback room. If Dallas really wanted to get greedy, though, why not re-sign Anthony Brown on the cheap?
Should the Cowboys re-sign cornerback Anthony Brown?
While the Cowboys traded for Gilmore and Brandin Cooks, they’ve deployed a familiar approach in free agency. Ronald Jones, Chuma Edoga, and Trent Sieg are their only external signings. The former two are expected to be depth pieces, while the latter replaces Matt Overton as the team’s long snapper.
Dallas preaches roster continuity, and they’ve re-signed several of their own free agents, including Wilson, Vander Esch, Hankins, edge Dante Fowler, special teams ace CJ Goodwin, backup QB Cooper Rush, RB and special teamer Rico Dowdle and DL Takk McKinley, who spent most of 2022 on the practice squad.
Might this trend continue in the form of Brown?
Often the scapegoat of Dallas’ secondary woes, Brown is far better in coverage than folks have given him credit for. We saw how the secondary performed after Brown was lost for the season with a torn Achilles. That speaks to the importance of Gilmore’s arrival, but also underlines the stability Brown provided.
If the Cowboys are serious about contending in 2023 — their offseason certainly communicates they’re all-in — then neither Joseph nor Wright should see the field at cornerback in big games … or any games for that matter.
You can never have too much CB depth, and Brown is familiar with Dan Quinn’s scheme having played in it for nearly two full seasons. His Achilles tear complicates matters, but nobody’s suggesting to sign him tomorrow. Maybe closer to training camp once there’s more clarity on his rehab progress.
Brown’s No. 3 jersey was given to Brandin Cooks, but the No. 30 he donned the previous six seasons is still available.
What say you, Cowboys fans? Would you take AB back for the vet minimum?