The Dallas Cowboys may find it in their best interest to bring back one of their former starters.
As suggested by Jerry Trotta of FanSided’s The Landry Hat, the Cowboys should consider reuniting with former cornerback Anthony Brown. Brown served as one of Dallas’ starting cornerbacks since his rookie year in 2016, starting 69 of 94 appearances.
Trotta argues that while Dallas does have solid depth following the trade of former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, they’re one injury away from relying on inexperienced corners such as Nahshon Wright and Kelvin Joseph for meaningful snaps.
“As currently constructed, Dallas is one injury at cornerback away from Nashshon Wright or Kelvin Joseph logging significant snaps,” writes Trotta. “Wright would be preferred to Joseph in that scenario, but either situation would spell doom for a Cowboys defense that proved in the playoffs it has championship potential.”
Brown started 12 games last season prior to suffering a torn Achilles in Week 13. Trotta admits that while Brown is coming off of a serious injury that may prevent him from returning in time for training camp, he could be a meaningful addition by the time the regular season comes around.
“Brown is coming off a torn Achilles and might not be cleared for training camp, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better early-to-midseason addition than the former sixth-round gem, who performed markedly better over his time in Dallas than (some) fans gave him credit for,” writes Trotta.
The 29-year-old Brown previously played under a three-year, $15.5 million deal (with an average salary of $5.2 million). Trotta says that if the Cowboys do bring back Brown, it should be under the veteran’s minimum. Considering Brown has seven years of experience, that would be for $1.165 million.
“At the end of the day, you can never have too much CB depth, and signing Brown for the veteran minimum would give Quinn five dependable corners, including Trevon Diggs, Stephon Gilmore, DaRon Bland and Jourdan Lewis,” writes Trotta.
Cowboys Probably Won’t Sign Anthony Brown in Near Future
According to Pro Football Focus, Brown posted a 55.0 defensive grade last season, which was actually lower than other Cowboys cornerbacks such as Trevon Diggs (67.6 defensive grade), DaRon Bland (66.0 defensive grade) and Jourdan Lewis (59.1 defensive grade).
However, it was higher than the Cowboys’ younger cornerbacks such as Wright (51.8 defensive grade) and Joseph (49.2 defensive grade).
Joseph did struggle mightily in pass coverage, allowing four touchdowns on 12 receptions on 18 targets (66.7 % completion rate) for 19.0 yards per reception. Meanwhile, Wright fared a little bit better, not allowing a single touchdown in pass coverage. However, he still allowed 15 receptions on 23 targets (65.2 % completion rate) for 13.8 yards per reception.
The Cowboys will likely go into training camp giving both young corners an opportunity to improve upon their weak 2022 season performances. In Joseph’s case, he’s a former second-round pick who is 22 years of age. In other words, the Cowboys will give Joseph another chance to show off his potential.
While the idea of bringing back Brown is always on the table, it’s more likely to happen if one of Dallas’ key cornerbacks suffers an injury during the 2023 season.