The Dallas Cowboys are acquiring their latest star.
“Another big trade! The #Colts are sending five-time Pro Bowl CB Stephon Gilmore to the #Cowboys for a 2023 fifth-round compensatory pick, sources tell me and @RapSheet,” reports Pelissero.
The move means Gilmore will play on his fourth team in as many seasons after spending four seasons with the New England Patriots.
Stephon Gilmore Remains Top-Tier Cornerback
Gilmore spent last season with the Colts, starting all 16 of his appearances, while notching a career-high 66 tackles. He appeared in 99% of the defensive snaps, showing off his durability at the age of 32.
According to Pro Football Focus, Gilmore posted a 79.1 defensive grade and 81.1 grade in coverage. His defensive and coverage grades were at its highest since the 2019 season, when he won the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Among all cornerbacks, Gilmore ranked 12th in defensive grade and ninth in coverage grade last season. By comparison, Diggs — the Cowboys’ highest-rated cornerback — posted just a 66.9 defensive grade and 66.1 grade in coverage.
Gilmore’s productive season happened after an offseason in which he underwent a meniscus tear, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network notes.
“Last offseason, Stephon Gilmore quietly had a meniscus repair, fixing his knee for good after years of pain,” said Rapoport. “It led to a stellar season in Indy, kick-starting a second act to his career.”
Why the Cowboys Are Acquiring Stephon Gilmore
As Jane Slater of NFL Network reports, the Cowboys acquired Gilmore because of his versatility and his ability to play their defensive scheme.
“Why did the #Cowboys go after CB Stephon Gilmore? ‘Pro bowl level corner that fits scheme. Can play all coverages we like’ says a team source,” said Slater. “Another indicator of Dallas desire to bolster the defense.”
Over the course of 11 seasons, Gilmore also has two First-Team All-Pro selections to his name and has 29 interceptions in 141 starts and 148 appearances across stints with the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Patriots and Colts.
After signing a two-year deal with the Colts last offseason, Gilmore is set to earn $7.96 million this season. Gilmore is due to be the 15th-highest paid cornerback in the league, making him a bargain deal for Dallas.
The move means the Cowboys have their No. 2 cornerback opposite of Trevon Diggs after a season in which they struggled to find consistency at the position. During the 2022 season, starting cornerbacks Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis suffered season-ending injuries.
The injuries forced Dallas to rely upon a cornerback rotation opposite of Diggs, including the likes of rookie DaRon Bland and veteran free agents such as Xavier Rhodes. The Cowboys also relied heavily upon inexperienced cornerbacks such as Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright.
With longtime cornerback Brown hitting free agency, Dallas needed to find another starting cornerback.
The Cowboys now have that in a former Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl champion while only giving up a low draft pick.