If the Dallas Cowboys aren’t in love with a pass rusher at 28, perhaps there will be a chance to help the back end of their defense. For the majority of Cowboys’ fans, as long as the player belongs on the defensive side of the ball, it’ll be a relief. Lost in all the talk about finding an edge rusher, there are four current defensive backs that are scheduled to hit free agency.
It’s not looking likely that the Dallas Cowboys are going to be able to re-sign all four and perhaps they would like to move on anyways. That means that in a draft that is loaded with good talent at the cornerback position, Dallas could find a guy or two that they really like. So, if it’s a cornerback, who do you want with the 28th pick?
Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, 6’1, 196 lbs.
Pros: He’s got the size that the Cowboys basically use as a prerequisite with perhaps better straight line speed than any other cornerback prospect. He’s got great form and he is well-suited for playing press man coverage. Humphrey also has enough awareness and skill to play well in zone and is a smart player. He can recognize tendencies and change as plays develop. He’s got good agility and ability to turn and barely leave any space between him and the receiver. He’s a very passionate player with great leadership skills. Marlon has and innate ability to track a ball in the air and pluck outside of his body and can contest jump balls.
Cons: He seems to have more trouble with the smaller, faster receiver-types. He’s likely a perimeter player and wouldn’t be the right guy for slot duties. He’s a bit grabby and will sometimes focus solely on the receiver, missing the ability to make a big play.
Sidney Jones, Washington, 6’0, 181 lbs.
Pros: Jones moves with ease and fluidity in his hips, he has a seamless transition when turning and covering his man that wows you. He seems like a natural cornerback being able to recognize routes and timing of quarterbacks. He’s very athletic with the ability to control his body and is a very poised player. Jones has shown his abilities to make plays on the ball and has a powerful punch to knock the ball out of receivers’ hands. He’s not overly physical and will get his man tackled. He’s a bit thin but he’s durable, playing every game of his college career.
Cons: Scout may be worried about his frame and lack of strength to take the pounding of an NFL schedule but he’s never missed a game. He’s got some work to do in run support and needs to become a more willing tackler. Jones can often get pushed around by bigger receivers in the game.
Desmond King, Iowa, 5’11, 206 lbs.
Pros: King’s a very passionate and instinctive defensive back with a solid, built-out frame for the position. He has tremendous agility and quickness to him. He’s a very physical cornerback and has the open-field tackling down pat. King’s a very good run defender and possesses the light feet and hip flexibility to turn and stay with his man. He’s perhaps the best corner in this draft at recognizing the route and being able to turn back to the ball to make the play. He’s also got fantastic ball skills which show up not only on defense but he can return punts and kickoffs too. He’s an aggressive return-man with above average vision and quickness.
Cons: Though he has all the abilities to remain at cornerback, there are some that may think he’s a safety at the next level. He’s a great football player but perhaps not the most athletically gifted specimen. He was also suspended for a game at Iowa for being late to meetings; there may something to look at there. He lacks the speed to recover if he gets beat initially by his opponent.
Tre’Davious White, LSU, 6’0, 184 lbs.
Pros: He’s in a long line of LSU corners to find success and he fits that same mold of his predecessors. He can be left on an island and handle his business but also can be a player in the slot position in the NFL. He’s gotten better with each year for the Tigers and he’s a disciplined player that doesn’t take the chances he once did. White sticks to his man in press coverage and has the recognition and awareness to back off in the zone. He impressively defended 15 passes on 42 attempts his way this past season. He’s a very selfless player that will do whatever is asked and has some upside as a punt returner too.
Cons: White is not the most physical corner and has been given the finesse label multiple times. Against the more powerful slot receivers, he’ll get into some trouble defending them. There is concern about his ability to finish on plays, only has six career interceptions but had extensive playing time. White’s a willing tackler but doesn’t seek out to finish guys.
Jourdan Lewis, Michigan, 5’10, 188 lbs.
Pros: Much like former Cowboys’ first-round pick Byron Jones, Lewis leaves almost zero space between him and the receiver. His balance is impeccable and he’s got the ability to turn and run with a multitude of receivers due to his initial quickness. Lewis has already met with the Cowboys at the Senior Bowl and then turned in a solid performance in that game. He’s an aggressive cornerback that is well-suited for man-to-man duties and can attack the ball as if he were well over six feet. He just simply wants the ball more than you do and is out to prove it.
Cons: His size is a concern at the next level although he’s a better than expected run defender. He loves to play tight but can be grabby and that gets you in trouble in the NFL. There are concerns that he will have trouble with the bigger bodied receivers in the NFL but he’s got a bit of that "Steve Smith" in him. He may be small but he will suffocate folk’s abilities to get open and make plays.
Vote in the poll then hit up the comments and let us know your preference if the Cowboys go cornerback at pick #28.