Cowboys Quickly Linked to Recently Cut 8-Time Pro Bowler

The Cowboys could target new free-agent CB Patrick Peterson.

Getty The Cowboys could target new free-agent CB Patrick Peterson.

The Steelers added another defensive back to the growing list of big names to be cut here ahead of the start of the 2024 NFL league year next week, cutting cornerback Patrick Peterson despite a productive season in which he played 97% of Pittsburgh’s snaps. But Peterson, an eight-time Pro Bowler, will turn 34 in July and has, no doubt, lost a step as he has pushed into his 30s.

With the Cowboys likely featuring a roster spot at cornerback, assuming veteran Stephon Gilmore’s stay at The Star was just a one-year interlude, Peterson was immediately linked to Dallas as a low-cost veteran who could chip in.  It helps that Peterson played for one season under coach Mike Zimmer in Minnesota, with Zimmer now the team’s defensive coordinator.

Peterson had his best years in Arizona, where he was made the No. 5 overall pick in 2011. His eight Pro Bowl selections came in his first eight seasons with the Cardinals, and he also earned three All-Pro selections.

Patrick Peterson Could Add Depth at Cornerback

With a limited free-agent budget, the Cowboys will have to get creative at some spots on the roster, and cornerback is likely to be one of them, especially with the emergence of Daron Bland last year and the impending return of Trevon Diggs. Pittsburgh saved more than $6 million by cutting Peterson, who had been on a two-year, $14 million contract he signed last season.

At the Cowboys Country site on, the Cowboys link to Peterson came Saturday morning.

“The Cowboys are certainly in need of some cornerback help with Stephon Gilmore, C.J. Goodwin and Jourdan Lewis facing free agency this spring. If they don’t address the position in free agency, it will certainly be a target during the draft,” wrote Jeremy Brener of the site.

“While Peterson isn’t the same player that made the Pro Bowl with the Cardinals, he can provide some depth behind DaRon Bland and Trevon Diggs. He recorded 42 tackles last season for the Steelers, his lowest total since 2017.”

In a nod to his increasing age, Peterson moved into the slot more often with Pittsburgh than he had ever played in his previous 12 seasons in the NFL, taking 225 snaps as the slot corner after taking just eight snaps as the slot the previous year in Minnesota, per PFF. He also played 220 snaps at free safety in 2023, after having played a total of just 11 snaps at safety in his entire prior career.

Cowboys Expecting Trevon Diggs Return

As for Diggs, team vice president Stephen Jones said that he will be present for the team’s OTAs in two months, but that he is unlikely to participate in team activities. Diggs underwent surgery in late October, and Jones said he does expect Diggs to be ready for training camp.

Diggs himself spoke to reporters after his surgery, which was the first major injury of his career.

“At first, it was tough, but I’m used to it now,” he said then, “just everyday doing the same things — getting my routine down and getting structure and discipline to focus on what’s important.”

He said he was getting a football education while he was injured.

“I just watch football all day, literally,” Diggs said. “I never got the chance to really sit down and watch other teams. I’ve been taking my time doing that and reading a couple books, and trying to find a couple new hobbies. Just taking everything day-by-day.

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