The Dallas Cowboys have been looking to address the cornerback situation this offseason. The position had its problems in 2015, starting with the season-ending injury to Orlando Scandrick. However, 2016 looks to have more bright spots with Scandrick returning and Morris Claiborne returning on what is a one-year, prove-it type of deal.
In the next few weeks, we will learn more on Brandon Carr's contract situation and whether he will be designated as a post June 1st cut. Regardless of what happens with Carr, the Cowboys were on life support at the cornerback position. But they'll get a chance to salvage the position by bringing in Leon Hall for a visit after missing out on Nolan Carroll, who signed a one-year deal to return to the Eagles. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news:
With how the Cowboys have approached free agency, it's clear that they're waiting for the market to settle itself before dishing out money to free agents. Dallas' first and only splash signing so far in free agency was the acquisition of Cedric Thornton. While Hall isn't the player he once was, he'd be the next splash signing.
At 31 years old, Hall is nearing the end of his career, but there is still some gas left in his tank. The Cincinnati Bengals have consistently had one of the better secondaries in football over the past couple of seasons and a big reason why has been the play of Hall. A veteran presence would help the developments of Claiborne, Byron Jones, and Terrance Mitchell.
While Hall played in somewhat of a backup role last season, there are still ways where the Cowboys can get him involved in the back-end of their defense and make an impact. In 14 games last season, Hall recorded 55 tackles, two interceptions, and nine pass defenses. One of those interceptions was brought back for a touchdown. Here's what Cincy Jungle's Joe Goodberry had to say about Hall and what he can still bring to an NFL defense:
"Leon Hall is still a very technically sound player with a good football IQ. He's been reduced to a nickel CB, but that role still sees about 60 percent of the total snaps, and he's still one of the best nickel corners in the league. He's physical, presses well and offenses should never throw wide receiver screens in his direction. Hall is still one of the best tackling corners in the NFL today. Hall has also rotated into safety for some packages and has practiced there in training camp. I think he could extend his career a few years as a safety and nickel CB."
With Hall leaving the Arizona Cardinals' facility without a deal, the Cowboys now emerge as a candidate for his efforts. Adding Hall would give the Cowboys a veteran in the secondary. But it would more importantly finally give the Cowboys a chance to get out from underneath Carr and his massive contract. Dallas requested a pay cut from Carr at the end of the 2014 season.
Signing Hall would take all of the leverage away from Carr's representatives and put it right in the Cowboys' grasps. With the market dwindling down at each position, Hall is an impact player that can still be of good use for an NFL defense. It should also be said that the Cowboys added $7.2 million in cap space the other day by restructuring Tyron Smith's contract. This could be exactly what the Cowboys had in mind when doing that.