The Dallas Cowboys could be looking at a “young, depth” option at cornerback during the 2024 offseason.
As mentioned by Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger, one free agent that represents a “good fit” for the Cowboys is none other than Baltimore Ravens cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. The 27-year-old veteran cornerback has loads of experience as a starting cornerback — he started 29 games for the Indianapolis Colts and nine games for the Las Vegas Raiders last season — but he’s certainly buried on the depth chart of the Ravens as a reserve cornerback.
Ya-Sin signed a one-year deal with the Ravens in the offseason, meaning he’ll be a free agent during the 2024 offseason. Spielberger argues that Ya-Sin could be a good depth piece for the Cowboys and could be a relatively cheap signing as Dallas soon turns it attention towards contract extensions with star players such as Micah Parsons and CeeDee Lamb.
“Ya-Sin is not starting in the Ravens’ secondary despite the absence of Marlon Humphrey through Week 3, with Brandon Stephens and Ronald Darby playing ahead of him on the outside,” writes Spielberger. “We’re thinking of a young, depth option here for Dallas more so than a splashy free agent signing, especially with massive contracts looming for Micah Parsons, CeeDee Lamb and others. Ya-Sin had back-to-back seasons with coverage grades above 65.0 in 2021-22 and could be a solid contributor as Trevon Diggs gets healthy.”
Why Rock Ya-Sin Could Be Perfect Signing for Cowboys
The former second-round draft pick has appeared in three games with the Ravens this season, but has played just 62 defensive snaps, 28% of their snaps.
Ya-Sin is currently playing under a one-year, $4 million deal with the Ravens. In other words, it wouldn’t cost much to sign him, especially if he continues to see playing time as mostly a reserve with Baltimore.
Prior to signing with the Ravens, Ya-Sin had served as mostly a starting cornerback, starting 38 of his 52 appearances across his first four seasons.
According to Pro Football Focus, Ya-Sin posted a 69.9 defensive grade with the Colts during the 2021 season and a 65.7 defensive grade with the Raiders during the 2022 season. Outside of Diggs (80.7 defensive grade), that’s about on par with the Cowboys’ current defensive backs, with Stephon Gilmore (70.6 defensive grade), Jourdan Lewis (68.2 defensive grade) and DaRon Bland (72.7 defensive grade) posting similar grades this season.
Cowboys Need Insurance at CB In Case of Injuries
As Spielberger stresses in his column, finding young pieces at cornerback that can offset any potential injury next year — such as Diggs’ season-ending ACL injury this season — is something that’s pivotal. This comes a year after the Cowboys suffered season-ending injuries to key cornerbacks such as Lewis and Anthony Brown last season.
It’s also worth mentioning that the 33-year-old Gilmore will be a free agent after the offseason.
“Cornerback Trevon Diggs, who tore his ACL, is a devastating loss, as he was looking every bit the part of a top cornerback in the NFL through two weeks,” writes Spielberger. “The Cowboys’ acquisition of Stephon Gilmore looks sharp in hindsight, and 2022 fifth-round pick DaRon Bland is an ascending young player. Nevertheless, it would be wise to add another young outside cornerback, as the team attempted to do with the drafting of Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright.”
While the Cowboys will likely address the need at cornerback at some point during the 2024 NFL Draft, signing a cheap, veteran cornerback such as Ya-Sin will likely be on the team’s radar next offseason.