In this free agency period, the Cowboys will be looking high and low, turning over all kinds of rocks in order to upgrade their defense. Though it was not the complete disaster that many had lamented it was going to be; there is always room to improve. With the uncertainty around Brandon Carr's contract, Dallas could look to the market for a possible replacement.
Chris Culliver has been a name that is surfacing as one of the better players set to hit the market. Culliver first came onto the scene for his comments about homosexuality before Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Culliver hasn't been without his abrasions, he was arrested for a misdemeanor hit and run where he allegedly threatened someone with brass knuckles. He also made some unflattering comments towards women on Instagram, but the 49er's handled that internally. He has since apologized for his homophobic and misogynistic comments. Still, it is rumored through Rotoworld that Culliver will be looking for a change of scenery in 2015.
The San Francisco 49ers drafted Chris Culliver in the third round of the 2011 draft. Culliver spent his college days at South Carolina with the ol' ball coach Steve Spurrier. As a freshman, Culliver saw most of his opportunities as a return-man. He recorded 34 returns for 809 yards, which was second for all-time return yardage in Gamecock history.
Culliver would become the starting free-safety in addition to his return duties his sophomore year, where he recorded 60 tackles, 4.5 for loss, three picks, two forced fumbles and three pass deflections. Prior to his junior year, Culliver almost died due to complications following shoulder surgery. He would return for his third year and be named to the Second All-SEC Team. Culliver would switch to cornerback in his senior season, but a torn pectoral ended it prematurely.
After being drafted, Culliver played in all 16 games his rookie season and had 35 tackles, one pick and seven passes defensed. He would play in both of San Francisco's playoff games as well. In his second season, Culliver would start 8 games at left corner. It was a season in which he struggled, giving up five touchdowns and a quarterback passer rating of 83. Culliver tore his ACL in training camp and missed the entire 2013 season.
This past season he returned from ACL surgery and had a remarkable year. He started in every game except one, had four picks, had 73 tackles, and held opposing quarterbacks to a puny 66.5 passer rating. PFF graded him as a+8.5, which was good enough to rank him 14th in the NFL.
Based on talent alone, he will be sought after when free agency begins on March 10th. The market will dictate if the Cowboys are going to be players for his services, but if they aren't sold on this year's draft prospects; Culliver makes sense.
The position for the Cowboys is unsettled at this point with Carr's contract, Claiborne's slow recovery and Sterling Moore's restricted free agency. The only corner right now without question marks for 2015 is Orlando Scandrick. Though he's played very well on the outside, the Cowboys prefer him playing the slot where he may be the best in the NFL. Culliver's six-foot-frame and progression make him a fitting candidate should Dallas look for a veteran upgrade this spring. The question is will his past off-the-field incidents cause Jason Garrett to rule him out.