Cowboys Could Soon Cut ‘Big-Name’ Talent: Analyst

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys could move on from CB Jourdan Lewis.

The Dallas Cowboys may be ready to move on from one of their longest-tenured players.

As suggested by Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay, the Cowboys could cut one of the bigger names this offseason by releasing cornerback Jourdan Lewis. The 27-year-old Lewis has been a member of Dallas since he was selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. Since that time, he has played a key role on the defense, including serving as the team’s nickel corner.

Cowboys Could Replace Jourdan Lewis with DaRon Bland

Kay argues that the Cowboys’ bloated depth at the cornerback position — Dallas pulled off a major trade for former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore — is a reason why they may finally move on from Lewis. Furthermore, DaRon Bland could be ready to assume the full-time nickel role after playing the part following Lewis’ season-ending Lisfranc injury.

“Lewis was limited to just six appearances in 2022 due to a Lisfranc injury that landed him on the IR,” writes Kay. “DaRon Bland, a rookie fifth-rounder, took over Lewis’ role and performed well for a first-year player. With five interceptions and seven pass defenses in just eight games, Bland earned a promising 71.9 PFF grade for his efforts.”

Cowboys Could Gain Financial Advantage From Releasing Jourdan Lewis

By comparison, Lewis posted a 59.1 defensive grade during his six appearances last season, according to Pro Football Focus. During the prior season, he posted a 61.4 defensive grade and a 48.1 defensive grade during the 2020 season. In fact, Lewis hasn’t exceeded Bland’s rookie performance grade of 71.9 since the 2018 season.

All things considered, it makes sense for the Cowboys to move on from both a performance and a salary cap standpoint. The veteran Lewis has a base salary of $4.5 million and a cap hit just under $5.9 million. Dallas can save $4.7 million by releasing Lewis prior to the last year of his deal.

“Finances are also a factor here,” says Kay. “The Cowboys can save a shade over $4.7 million by releasing Lewis—who is entering the final season of a three-year, $13.5 million contract—this offseason.”

By comparison, the second-year Bland is only due $946,197 this season as a former fifth-round draft pick.

Outside of the emergence of Bland and the acquisition of Gilmore as the No. 2 cornerback opposite of Trevon Diggs, Dallas has a surplus of players at the position. Nahshon Wright and Kelvin Joseph will also return after playing key roles at cornerback last season.

“There’s already plenty of competition for roster spots in the Cowboys secondary before the draft even begins,” says Kay. “Outside of the aforementioned top four, Dallas also has Nahshon Wright, Isaac Taylor-Stuart, Kelvin Joseph and C.J. Goodwin under contract.”

With the NFL draft taking place before the end of the month, any Cowboys selection at cornerback could be the move that pushes Lewis out the door. Considering his role has always been as a key staple of the defensive unit, it’s hard to envision the Cowboys keeping him around to be a No. 4 cornerback.

Outside of his 2018 season, Lewis has never played less than 55% of the defensive snaps in games he’s appeared in over the course of a single season.

With the Cowboys featuring a number of capable cornerbacks, it’s probably time to move on from Lewis.

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