A reinforcement has arrived in the Dallas Cowboys‘ secondary.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett announced Wednesday that the team has poached cornerback Deante Burton from the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad and added him to the 53-man roster.
This, essentially the corresponding move after Dallas lost CB Anthony Brown to a season-ending triceps injury. Brown is ticketed for surgery and will be placed on the injured reserve list.
A 2017 undrafted free agent, Burton is well-traveled, having played for four NFL teams before the Cowboys called. He was signed as a UDFA by the Atlanta Falcons and spent his rookie campaign on the taxi squad.
A converted receiver, Burton switched to corner in 2018, when he inked a reserve/futures deal with Atlanta, who released him that September.
Burton, 25, had a cup of coffee with the Green Bay Packers in 2018 before resurfacing in Atlanta, appearing in one regular-season game. His biggest opportunity came that Halloween when the Houston Texans plucked him from Atlanta’s practice squad. He made two appearances for the Texans, who waived him this past August.
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Burton, as mentioned, was a receiver at Kansas State, compiling 84 catches for 1,085 yards and five touchdowns from 2013-16. His most productive campaign occurred as a junior when he made 38 grabs for 510 yards and four scores.
Long (6-foot-2) and fairly lean (200 pounds), Burton won as a WR with an above-average catch radius and enough agility to shake free from defenders in the open field. He clocked a 4.58 forty-yard dash time in his pre-draft workout.
Fit with Cowboys
Burton becomes the third CB on the 10-man practice squad, joining D.J. White and Donovan Olumba, who some thought would be elevated following the injury to Brown. With him sidelined, Dallas will lean more heavily on slot man Jourdan Lewis and little-used CB C.J. Goodwin, who’s made just six tackles in 10 games this season.
The Cowboys also could turn to defensive back Josh Jones, the former Packer they signed to the practice squad in October and promoted to the active roster last week.
The Cowboys’ back end is the sum of their parts; no one player, aside from maybe CB Byron Jones, stands out as the star. Brown was a contributor but his loss is hardly a death blow for the playoff-contending club. There’s enough depth at this spot to withstand the injury bug.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL