If things go off as planned, the Cowboys can extend a free-agent offer to Chris Harris Jr. — the second-best cornerback on the open market, behind Dallas’ own Byron Jones — as soon as Monday afternoon, when the NFL’s legal tampering period is supposed to begin.
The Cowboys will boast roughly $74 million in salary cap room, pending new deals for quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper. They’ll have a gaping hole at corner upon Jones signing elsewhere. And there’s reported interest in Harris, who’s closed the door on returning to the Denver Broncos.
Such interest is mutual. As spotted by Blogging The Boys, the four-time Pro Bowler dropped a potential clue about his future intentions, following Prescott on social media giant Instagram.
Landing the 30-year-old would be a big get for defensive-hungry Dallas.
Harris is perenially hailed among the league’s best CBs, particularly in the slot, where he’s honed a shutdown reputation. He was a Pro Football Focus darling from 2015-18, regularly earning elite coverage grades.
He took a step back in 2019 when Denver asked him to play along the boundary in addition to inside duties. Though, despite surrendering four touchdowns and a 67.1-percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks, he finished as PFF’s No. 35 CB out of 133 qualifiers.
A 2011 undrafted free agent, he’s totaled 518 combined tackles, 89 pass breakups, 20 interceptions, 4.5 sacks, and four defensive touchdowns across nine professional seasons.
But if the Cowboys want Harris, they’ll need to reach deep into their pocketbook. Spotrac.com projects $11.125 million annually on a free-agent pact, but he may easily flirt with $13-14 million per year from a cap-flush team like the Las Vegas Raiders ($50.3 million), one of several suitors for Harris’ services.
The Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, and Kansas City Chiefs are also rumored as landing spots. Harris’ camp reportedly spoke to “at least” 24 teams at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
In Dallas, Harris would step right into the starting lineup opposite Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, assuming the club doesn’t further fortify the position via the draft, where they hold the No. 17 overall pick.
Adding to intrigue in LSU safety Grant Delpit — the entire secondary requires a revamp — the Cowboys “likely” will arrange a pre-draft interview (of some sort) with Florida CB CJ Henderson, a chief contender for their first-round selection.
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