Cowboys Projected as Landing Spot for Top Free Agent CB

Mike McCarthy Cowboys

Getty The Dallas Cowboys could be in pursuit of a top free agent cornerback.

The Dallas Cowboys could add the top cornerback on the free agent market.

According to Pro Football Focus’ free agency projections, the Cowboys are a potential landing spot for New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson. The 26-year-old has racked up the most interceptions in the NFL since the start of the 2020 season (16 interceptions) and has helped lead the Patriots to the top defensive ranking (15.4 points allowed per game) this season.

“OUTSIDE CB IN MAN-HEAVY SCHEME: “Jackson was the second fiddle to Stephon Gilmore in New England for much of his career, but he’s still handled his fair share of tough, man-coverage assignments in Bill Belichick’s defense,” says PFF. He’s been one of the position’s best playmakers in that role, rarely squandering an interception opportunity. Dallas and New Orleans stand out as potential non-Patriots landing spots if they’re able to make things work financially.”


Jackson to Command Top Dollar in Free Agency Market

Jackson is known as one of the top man coverage corners in the league and ranks near the top in major categories for cornerbacks. The fourth-year corner ranks eighth among 118 qualifying cornerbacks in defensive grade, according to PFF. Furthermore, his 77.0 coverage grade ranks 31st among all defensive backs.

If the Cowboys hope to lure Jackson, they’ll have to do so with the intention of making him the second-highest paid cornerback in the league. PFF projects Jackson’s contract to be $64 million over 4 years ($16 million). Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones is currently the highest-paid corner at an average annual salary of $16.5 million.

On the surface, the Cowboys appear to have a respectable defense. They rank 12th in the NFL in points allowed per game (22.3 points allowed per game) and fifth in turnovers forced. However, they rank 27th total yards allowed and 28th in passing yards allowed.

The defensive unit has compensated for its lack of ability in preventing big plays by forcing turnovers (No. 1 in the league). Trevon Diggs paces the defense with his league-leading nine interceptions.

Pairing Diggs with Jackson would create the league’s top cornerback duo and actually make the Cowboys’ defense a strength — rather than a flaw.

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Cowboys Respond to La’el Collins Ejection

The Cowboys have absolutely zero issue with La’el Collins’ punch and ejection.

Towards the end of the Cowboys’ 27-20 loss to the Washington Football Team, the offensive tackle came to the defense of franchise quarterback Dak Prescott after a late hit towards the sidelines by Washington’s William Bradley-King.

Collins landed a punch after charging at Bradley-King, resulting in an ejection. However, head coach Mike McCarthy didn’t have an issue with it — and neither did Prescott.

“LC did exactly what you’re supposed to do there,” said McCarthy during postgame media availability.

“I just told him I appreciate it,” Prescott said via Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News. “I told him right there in the moment when they were taking him out of the game. I told him how I felt about him as a brother and as a teammate, and I reiterated that in the locker room.”

Considering the Cowboys’ history of not defending their quarterback — they infamously failed to protect a concussed Andy Dalton versus Washington last season — following a vicious hit, it’s understandable why the Cowboys came to Prescott’s aid this time around.

 

 

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