Cowboys latest free agency move foreshadows Stephon Gilmore's future

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

As maddening as the first two-plus days of NFL free agency were for Dallas Cowboys fans, the team has finally got the ball rolling on days three and four. The Cowboys announced their arrival in seismic fashion late Wednesday when they stole linebacker Eric Kendricks from the rival 49ers, who had agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Kendricks earlier in the day.

Kendricks had agreed to a one-year deal with San Francisco, but Mike Zimmer pushed hard to land his former linebacker to run Dallas' defense. Kendricks fills a huge hole at linebacker, and the Cowboys moved quickly to address another need on Zimmer's defense.

Per reports, Dallas has re-signed cornerback Jourdan Lewis on a one-year deal. This is a massive re-signing for the Cowboys. While Lewis struggled early last season following his return from Lisfranc surgery, he was one of the defense's best players over the last handful of games.

It's great to see the Cowboys reward Lewis, but we can't help but wonder what this means for Stephon Gilmore's future.

Cowboys re-signing CB Jourdan Lewis is bad news for Stephon Gilmore.

Before we get into Gilmore, allow us to show some love to Lewis. His final few games of the season were arguably the best of his career. The former third-round pick in 2017 made multiple clutch breakups in the passing game, but where he really showed his worth was defending the run and tackling ball-carriers.

In other words, Lewis is a perfect fit in Mike Zimmer's defense. He finished the year with a 91.2 run-defense grade. Only DeMarcus Lawrence posted a higher mark among Cowboys defenders. Furthermore, Lewis' 74.4 tackling grade was the fifth-highest on the team and his five missed tackles were tied for the fewest amongst Dallas' starters.

Ironically, Gilmore also missed just five tackles. One would assume that Lewis re-signing rules out Gilmore returning for the 2024 season. He proved last year that he's still a high-end CB2 capable of locking up opposing team's No. 1 receivers. A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf were two of Gilmore's most high-profile victims.

Gilmore only allowed a 90.2 passer rating when targeted and his 13 pass breakups were his most since he won Defensive Player of the Year in 2019.

ESPN's Todd Archer mentioned that Gilmore returning is still a "possibility", so the Cowboys seemingly aren't giving up hope on that front. Now 33 years old, Gilmore might be looking to cash in for the final time in his career. Or maybe, he actually has unfinished business in Dallas like he said after the season.

Lewis re-signing gives the Cowboys needed insurance behind Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland, but that shouldn't dissuade Jerry Jones from running it back with Gilmore. Unfortunately, logic says Gilmore's odds of returning decreased in light of this news.

But logic has been wrong before.

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