The Dallas Cowboys are putting together their best possible roster ahead of the 2023 season, and that should include a former Los Angeles Chargers star.
Dallas has put a focus on re-signing defensive names this offseason, with role players like linebacker Leighton Vander Esch returning on a multi-year deal. The team introduced a new face through cornerback Stephon Gilmore, and they could still add another.
Enter Bryce Callahan. The former Los Angeles Chargers corner is still without a team in free agency, and B/R’s David Kenyon estimates that the 31-year-old will probably make just $1.8 million on his next deal.
“Callahan emerged as one of the NFL’s top slot corners while a member of the Chicago Bears. His defensive coordinator at the time was Vic Fangio, who Callahan followed to Denver in 2019,” Kenyon explains.
While he believes the Miami Dolphins are a natural fit, the Cowboys are trying to figure out their own slot corner situation. There are rumblings that current slot CB Jourdan Lewis is on the outs, and other options like Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright failed to seize opportunities in 2022.
At the estimated price, Callahan could be a game-changing addition as the Cowboys’ inside corner.
Bryce Callahan Stars for Chargers, Hits Free Agency
Entering the 2022 season, there were questions about Callahan’s durability and productivity as a 31-year-old corner. The previous season he had missed several games with the Denver Broncos and did not register an interception for the first time since 2016.
The Chargers picked him up anyways, and it paid dividends. Callahan established new career bests in several statistical categories for the AFC West franchise as they earned a Wild Card spot.
According to Pro Football Reference, the former Rice Owl notched six passes defended, matching the 2017 and 2018 seasons for the most in his career. He brought down three interceptions, eclipsing his previous season-best of 2.
The icing on the cake for Callahan was that he scored his first NFL touchdown in 2022. He also put up these numbers in 15 games, missing two contests through injury.
Why hasn’t Los Angeles brought him back? The Chargers are tight on cash and that’s likely kept them from re-signing Callahan but their loss is the Cowboys’ gain.
Cowboys Could Let Cornerback Go
The only way Callahan makes sense as a new addition is as an upgrade or replacement over one of the team’s down-the-depth-chart CBs. Trevon Diggs and Gilmore are nearly-guaranteed starters this upcoming season and Callahan is a slot corner anyways.
Recently, Heavy covered the possibility that the team could let Lewis walk. Blogging the Boys analyst Jess Haynie believes it hinges on if the team drafts a rookie corner, but getting Callahan for the right price would make the same sense.
According to Spotrac, Lewis is set to make $5.87 million after bonuses this season. Dallas could save $4.7 million (his base salary and roster bonus) by releasing him this offseason.
Lewis is a solid player, but the Cowboys can save somewhere close to $3 million by dropping Lewis and signing Callahan (if the projected contract is accurate.) That’s hard to turn down, especially for a team that has made an effort to open up the reserves this offseason.