The Dallas Cowboys have focused almost exclusively on improving their defense this offseason, but it remains to be seen if the team could make another big move before the season kicks off. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the Cowboys have been widely linked to making a trade for Dolphins Pro Bowl corner Xavien Howard, but the NFL insider admitted Dallas likely would have already made the move if it was going to happen.
“There was buzz leaguewide that Dallas might make a play for Howard, though that was mostly before the Cowboys went all defense in the draft and picked up three new corners,” Fowler noted.
During an interview on the Chris Collinsworth podcast, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was asked if the team could still make a major addition like signing free-agent corner Richard Sherman. McCarthy left the door open for more roster additions before the season but hinted that there is unlikely to be anything significant, specifically at cornerback.
“Well, the one thing we talk about all the time, we’re always looking, we’re always looking to upgrade and to add,” McCarthy responded. “There’s no question there, but also the salary cap, what’s in front of us, too is something that we’re very focused on, too. I think that’s why you saw, I mean, the 11 draft picks was by design. To be able to select, you know, we had 10 going in, but to be able to have 11 selections this year was very important just in the big picture and the long-term planning for our roster development. So, we’re always looking, but I definitely love the competition that we have on the backend. It’ll be fun to see how this all sorts out.”
Howard Led the NFL with 10 Interceptions in 2020
Howard led the NFL last season with 10 interceptions and the Dolphins lockdown corner also added 20 pass deflections, 51 tackles and a forced fumble in 16 starts. Despite the eye-opening stats, the Dolphins could look to deal the corner as he pushes for a more lucrative contract.
“Miami doesn’t want to deal him, but it’s the worst-kept secret in the league that Howard is not happy with his contract,” Fowler explained. “He’s due $12 million in non-guaranteed money in 2021 — a low standard coming off a 10-interception season. His counterpart in Miami, Byron Jones, gets $14 million in guarantees this year. That’s a problem if Miami doesn’t adjust Howard’s deal this summer.”
Rookie CB Kelvin Joseph Has a Good Chance to Start
The Cowboys are hoping second-round pick Kelvin Joseph can show enough in training camp to earn a starting spot by Week 1. It is a move that could prevent the Cowboys from giving up significant assets in a deal for Howard. McCarthy praised Joseph’s pre-draft workout and described the former Kentucky corner as a “tremendous athlete.”
“I was at his workout in Kentucky,” McCarthy noted, per Kentucky Sports Radio. “Have some people there at Kentucky that were very instrumental in giving us insight on his experience there at Kentucky. So, tremendous athlete. I think just his physical skills are something that just really stood out to us not only on film in his year there but in the workout that day.”