Cowboys cornerback room is in great shape for the foreseeable future

The Dallas Cowboys got dealt a major blow early in the 2023 season when All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs suffered a torn ACL just before Week 3. One positive to take away from his injury, in terms of the 2024 campaign was the timing of it because it gave Diggs an entire year to recover, and it was reported recently that he will be ready for training camp.

Dallas will no doubt be patient with Diggs when he does get back to doing stuff on the field because the last thing they want is another setback. If all goes well, the Cowboys get the NFL’s top ball-hawking cornerback over the last few years. Diggs took the football world by storm in 2021 with a league-leading 11 interceptions, the most in a single season since 1981. He only logged three in 2022, but he shut down top wide receivers like Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings and Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals which is not an easy task.

Diggs has catapulted himself into one of the best cover corners in the league, and the ability to eliminate the opposing team’s top wide receiver can make their offense more one-dimensional.

DaRon Bland was taken in the fifth round in 2022, and he didn’t waste time making an impact. He showed the ability to play in the slot and as an outside corner during the preseason. The former is where he shined as a rookie (434 snaps in the slot) as Bland led the Cowboys with five interceptions as he took over for an injured Jourdan Lewis. The injury to Diggs last season forced Bland to play as an outside corner opposite former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.

Not only did Bland play well in 2023, but he was one of the best defenders regardless of position. Bland led the NFL with nine interceptions and earned first-team All-Pro honors. It was his record-setting five pick-sixes that really set him apart. Dallas has two legit shutdown corners in Bland and Diggs, and not many teams can say that.

He doesn’t get the hype of Diggs of Bland, but Jourdan Lewis is a very valuable piece to the Cowboys’ secondary. After an injury plagued campaign in 2022 where he only saw action in six games, Lewis bounced back with 53 tackles, an interception, five pass breakups, a career-high three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Lewis is a sticky corner who always seems to be around the ball.

Lewis was re-signed during the offseason, but it was only a one-year deal. However, assuming his play continues to be solid, Dallas would be smart to keep him on the roster due to his skill set and keep that veteran presence at the position.

The Cowboys added to their cornerback back room in the fifth round of the draft by selecting Caelen Carson out of Wake Forest, which was a smart move with Gilmore still being a free agent. Carson has the size at 6’0 and 200 pounds and decent speed (ran a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash), and he plays with a very physical style. The former Demon Deacon dissects plays very well and attacks downhill, and he’s a willing tackler in the run game. He played 521 snaps as an outside corner and 77 in the slot (81.4 grade per Pro Footbal Focus) last season. So, there’s good flexibility to his game.

Carson will need to clean up his penalty issue which comes from him using his hands a lot, but that can be fixed with the right coaching, and the Cowboys have Al Harris to mentor him in that regard. Doing that and refining his technique, Carson can end up being a steal, considering many had him as a third-round pick.

Another name to remember is Eric Scott Jr., who was taken in the sixth round in 2023, who the Cowboys have high hopes for.

No team can have too many cornerbacks in today’s NFL, and the Cowboys have several that can play at a high level, which sets them up nicely for the foreseeable future.


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