The role of Dallas Cowboys veteran cornerback Jourdan Lewis continues to be unclear, especially after the team acquired star Stephon Gilmore this offseason. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine predicted DaRon Bland will be the third cornerback alongside Gilmore and Trevon Diggs putting Lewis on the bench to begin next season. Bland emerged as a legitimate starter by the end of his rookie season as the Cowboys secondary became decimated by injuries.
“An interesting position battle to watch in camp will be at nickel corner,” Ballentine wrote on May 3, 2023. “The Cowboys played nickel and dime at a high clip last season, so it’s an important position. Stephon Gilmore’s arrival should push DaRon Bland inside after his five-interception rookie season.
“Jourdan Lewis was the starter there until a foot injury cost him the rest of the season. The veteran should be good to go, but Bland is the kind of big (6’0″, 197 lbs), physical corner who is nice to have in the box and has the coverage ability to stick with slot receivers, tight ends and running backs.”
Cowboys Rumors: Cornerback Jourdan Lewis Is a Potential Cut Candidate This Offseason
Lewis sustained a season-ending Lisfranc foot injury last October but played in six games (including four starts) during the 2022 season. The veteran corner started 30 games for Dallas over the last three seasons, but his future with the team could be in doubt.
Lewis is slated to have a $4.5 million salary in the final season of a three-year, $13.5 million contract, per Spotrac. This is a lot of money to pay for a reserve player if Lewis is unable to secure one of the top three corner spots in training camp.
Dallas has an out in Lewis’ deal this offseason but would still take a $1.1 million dead cap hit by releasing the defender. Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher labeled Lewis as the top Cowboys’ potential cut candidate.
“It’s not an indictment of his play, but rather, as he comes off an injury, a matter of money,” Fisher detailed on April 11. “A Dallas release of the play-making slot corner offers $4.7 million in cap savings.
“Stephon Gilmore trade has arrived via trade. Second-year standout DaRon Bland will be tough to beat in the slot. If Dallas drafts another corner with a premium pick? The squeeze might be on.”
Cowboys News: Trevon Diggs & Stephon Gilmore Will Be Free Agents in 2024
Fisher’s blurb came before the NFL draft took place, and the Cowboys chose to address other positions early. Dallas only took one cornerback, Southern Miss’ Eric Scott Jr., in the sixth round which could be good news for Lewis. Beyond Lewis’ future, Dallas faces additional uncertainty at cornerback as Gilmore and Diggs are slated to both be free agents next offseason.
The Cowboys could still sign Diggs to a contract extension this offseason, but it remains to be seen if the two sides will be a able to reach an agreement. Sportrac projects Diggs’ market value to be a four-year, $61.8 million contract. The star Dallas corner did not sound confident about his future with the Cowboys despite noting that he wanted to be in Dallas while adding “we’ll see.”
“Hopefully something gets figured out,” Diggs told The Athletic’s Jon Machota during a May 3 interview. “I love Dallas. I love being here. So, I don’t know. We’ll see.”