Once, this would have been a dream for the Cowboys and their fans. Now, it appears to be just a dream for Antonio Cromartie. TMZ asked the free agent corner about his future in the NFL while he was out celebrating his 32nd birthday. After being prompted about opportunities with teams like Dallas, Miami and Carolina, Cromartie said:
"My dream choice? That'd be the Dallas Cowboys," Antonio told us ... "That's very high on my list."
The Cowboys did do some window shopping for free agent corners this offseason and even thought they had a deal to bring Patrick Robinson in. They also met with Leon Hall, but the only signing they did was with one of their own in Morris Claiborne (and little-used Josh Thomas).
Cromartie has had some good years in the NFL, but he is 32 and was recently cut by the Jets. Todd Bowles, the Jets head coach, was pretty blunt that a poor performance in 2015 was behind the cut, but mitigated that by bringing up injuries.
On Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Jets head coach Todd Bowles explained that Cromartie's subpar performance in 2015 was a reason why the team cut him. But Bowles also said Cromartie could return on a lower-priced contract in 2016, something Cromartie would be open to.
"We looked at the tape," Bowles said when asked why the Jets cut Cromartie. "And after we looked at the tape, he didn't have the greatest year, but he played with a lot of injuries, to his credit."
Injuries have taken their toll and his recent PFF numbers show that he's had some rough years.
2015 (with Jets): 103rd overall (of 118), 97th in coverage
2014 (with Arizona): 41st overall (of 108), 40th in coverage
2013 (with Jets): 104th overall (of 110), 109th in coverage
In 2012 with the Jets, Cromartie ranked 18th overall and 13th in coverage. He made the Pro Bowl and had three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
But then nagging hip issues cropped up for Cromartie in 2013, when he had three picks, the same number he accumulated in 2014. (Cromartie had no picks in 2015.) In Arizona, Cromartie got past his hip problems, and played better.
The Cowboys are probably waiting for the draft to happen before doing much more in free agency, like most teams.
If Cromartie is willing to play for a veteran minimum, would you bring him in for a look?