With free agency rapidly approaching, everyone is taking bets on which players each team will go after, and on Thursday Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic released his predictions for free agent signings all across the league. While Kapadia only had one prediction for the Cowboys, it was certainly an interesting one, as he predicts Dallas to sign Chargers cornerback Michael Davis:
Dallas needs help in its secondary, and Davis would be a good fit at outside corner opposite Trevon Diggs in Dan Quinn’s expected single-high safety scheme. The 6-foot-2 Davis went from undrafted free agent to quality corner, starting 35 games for the Chargers in the last three seasons.
Indeed, Davis would be a seamless fit for the Cowboys and Dan Quinn’s defense. That’s because Davis has played his entire four-year NFL career under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, the architect of the Legion of Boom defense in Seattle who Quinn replaced in 2013. While Bradley and Quinn have unique differences in their schemes and tendencies, it’s the same general philosophies, including lots of single-high safety looks in coverage. And it was in that scheme that Davis went from undrafted rookie to reliable starter.
Coming out of BYU, no team took a chance on Davis in the draft, but the Chargers saw some upside in him given his athletic profile: Davis stands at 6’2” and 196 pounds and ran a 4.3 40-yard dash at his pro day. That combination of size and long speed appealed to Bradley, and so he was given a chance.
Davis saw minimal action in his rookie year, but broke into the starting lineup in 2018 and allowed completions on just 62.7% of his targets. He finished with 50 tackles and eight pass breakups on the year, becoming the full-time starter in 2019. Between that season and this past year, Davis recorded 79 tackles, five picks, and 23 passes defensed while allowing a 60% completion rate and a 77.6 passer rating when thrown at. Not too shabby.
More than that, Davis just turned 26 years old as he enters free agency and is not expected to command top dollar. Alexander Insdorf of Bolt Beat broke down Davis’ expected market value should Los Angeles opt not to re-sign him first, and he projected Davis to sign a contract worth roughly $24 million over three years, while Pro Football Focus projected a one-year deal worth just $3.5 million.
Either way, Davis won’t be the belle of the ball for teams looking at cornerback in free agency. But Quinn might point the Cowboys in his direction due to his scheme familiarity, youth, and affordability. Such a signing also wouldn’t preclude Dallas from taking a cornerback early in the draft either, should they decide to go in that direction. It seems as if this prediction from Kapadia would be a win-win for the Cowboys.