A longtime Dallas Cowboys veteran may be an ideal trade candidate.
As suggested by Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine, cornerback Jourdan Lewis could be a logical trade candidate due his contract and the current logjam at cornerback for the Cowboys. Although Lewis has served as a starter since the 2020 season, the acquisition of veteran Stephon Gilmore could not only push Lewis out of the starting lineup, it might just make him expendable in Dallas.
“It doesn’t seem likely that Jourdan Lewis will be released,” writes Ballentine. “The slot corner brings value to the defense, though the team would save $4.7 million by parting ways with him. He has just one season left on his contract anyway, and the Cowboys might not use him in their starting lineup.”
Why the Cowboys Could Move Jourdan Lewis
Prior to an injury-hampered 2022 season, Lewis started 26 of 31 games during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, serving as the Cowboys’ primary nickel cornerback.
According to Pro Football Focus, Lewis hasn’t been overly impressive as the Cowboys’ nickel cornerback. During the 2020 season, Lewis posted a 48.1 defensive grade. During the 2021 season, he posted a more respectable 61.4 defensive grade. During the 2022 season — he appeared in six games with four starts prior to a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 7 — Lewis posted a mediocre 59.1 defensive grade.
As steady as Lewis has been over the course of his six years in Dallas, it may make more sense to simply trade him for some draft capital while saving $4.7 million by moving him. Ballentine details how Lewis will have to battle with DaRon Bland just to win back the nickel cornerback job in training camp.
“The addition of Stephon Gilmore via trade plus DaRon Bland’s stellar rookie season might make Lewis obsolete,” writes Ballentine. “Gilmore was clearly brought in to pair with Trevon Diggs on the outside, leaving Bland to fight with Lewis for the starting nickel position.”
DaRon Bland Outperformed Jourdan Lewis Last Season
Outside of the addition of Gilmore, Bland’s emergence last season in Lewis’ absence also makes the latter basically obsolete. According to Pro Football Focus, Bland posted a 71.9 defensive grade last season, which ranks better than all of Lewis’ seasons as the Cowboys’ nickel cornerback.
“Bland had five interceptions and seven passes defended in 2022,” writes Ballentine. “He gave up a passer rating of 82.2 when targeted and limited opponents to 6.5 yards per target.”
Former highly touted second-round draft pick Kelvin Joseph also returns on the roster and could be a candidate for snaps if Lewis is moved.
The Cowboys likely wouldn’t benefit too much from cutting Joseph. Instead, they should listen to offers and see what they can get from the 27-year-old on the trade market.
“Given the Cowboys’ cap situation and that Lewis isn’t that expensive at $5.9 million this season, it doesn’t seem like Dallas would do well to cut him; depth can be critical at corner,” writes Ballentne. “That was evident when Lewis went down for the season with a foot injury in Week 7 last year. But the Cowboys should listen to offers if they find a team willing to give up a draft pick to add the experienced slot defender.”
Despite being one of the longer-tenured players on the roster, Lewis may be entering his final days as a member of the Cowboys.