Jourdan Lewis' contract details leave Cowboys with easy Stephon Gilmore decision

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys
Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys have woken up after a drowsy start to free agency. Incredibly, both moves have revolved around defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. First, the Cowboys signed Zimmer's former star linebacker Eric Kendricks, who'll help run Zimmer's defense.

Then, Dallas turned around and re-signed cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who played at an extremely high level to finish the 2023 season. Lewis is a fantastic fit in Zimmer's defense given his fearless nature when defending the run.

Signing Lewis also gives the Cowboys needed insurance at cornerback. While Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland are both All-Pros, it might take Diggs some time to get back to full speed following ACL surgery. Lewis experienced a slow start this past season following his devastating Lisfranc injury suffered in 2022.

Re-signing Stephon Gilmore would complete Dallas' cornerback room, but many feared Lewis' returning shut the door on a Gilmore return. However, that door remains ajar now that we know the details of Lewis' contract.

Per reports, Lewis signed a one-year deal worth $2.8275 million guaranteed. His base salary is just $2.66 million and he'll count less than $2 million against the salary cap.

Jourdan Lewis' contract details give Cowboys no excuse not to re-sign Stephon Gilmore

That is an absolute steal of a contract. The Cowboys front office has received deserved criticism, but they often negotiate team-friendly deals. They oftentimes do that to a fault, but it works to their benefit in this case in that it gives them plenty of leeway to re-sign Gilmore.

Gilmore's value could fall anywhere between $8-11 million. Given how slow the cornerback market has moved in free agency, though, he could go cheaper. Kendall Fuller, who's on a similar level to Gilmore, got $8.5 million per year from the Dolphins.

The Cowboys have pinched their pennies to start free agency. They reportedly were out on running back Zack Moss because he wanted $4 million per year. However, they clearly hold cornerback in a higher regard than RB. It stands to reason they'd be willing to spend what it takes to bring back Gilmore.

In fact, Patrik Walker of reported after Lewis signed that Dallas is "very much in on" trying to re-sign Gilmore. That's music to Cowboys fans' ears. If Jerry and Stephen Jones aren't going to spend big on outside free agents, the least they could do is extend a little beyond their comfort zone to give themselves the best cluster of cornerbacks in the league.

Gilmore said he has unfinished business in Dallas and wants to come back. Lewis' bargain contract makes this a no-brainer decision.