Albert Breer at the DMN Blog looks at the state of our cornerbacks and offers this analysis regarding free agents and draft prospects.
[Drayton] Florence and [Randall] Gay are two interesting cases for the Cowboys to study. While Florence (who played for Phillips in San Diego) lost his starting position to Antonio Cromartie this fall, he did keep the All-Pro off the Chargers first string for a year-and-a-half, and is a competent second corner. Gay, meanwhile, isn’t quite the finished product that Florence is, because he’s battled injuries throughout his career in New England. Still, he’s extremely athletic, has a boatload of playoff experience and brings the position flexibility to play safety or corner and perhaps a bit higher ceiling than Florence. If the team’s looking for a cheaper, veteran stopgap, Tampa Bay’s Brian Kelly will be out there, after exercising a buy-back option in his contract.
A serious pursuit of any of those three could prompt the team to let Reeves walk. And then, there’s the draft. There’s talent at the cornerback position, but the rank of it may be more muddled than any spot among the college prospects. Jenkins, Talib and McKelvin are all considered Top 10 possibilities and, just as easily, one could fall into the Cowboys laps at 22. If the Cowboys don’t take one of them there, Rodgers-Cromartie could be too intriguing to pass up at 28, a lanky, athletic player who looks like his cousin Antonio. Another one to keep an eye on is Arizona’s Antoine Cason, a big, physical, pure cover corner who I don’t think is getting the attention he deserves, mainly because he's not overly fast.
So how do the Cowboys attack this position? Well, they’re in a bit of a tough spot, because Henry battled injury through last season, which makes it difficult to evaluate where he is at age 31, and Newman’s contract status is unsettled. Clearly, there will be some shuffling. Expect a second-tier free agent, below the Asomugha-Samuel-Trufant class, to be signed, and a pick in the first two rounds to be spent. By improving at this position, you improve the defense as a whole, and give the play-callers far more flexibility than they had in their first year at Valley Ranch.
I agree with Breer. While I'm not a fan of Florence, he is an upgrade over Reeves. Then if we can land DRC with our #28 pick, we should be much improved at the CB position going into this season.