The Cowboys did bring back a veteran corner in free agency by re-signing Jourdan Lewis to a new deal. They didn’t do the same for Chidobe Awuzie. That left the Cowboys with just three experienced corners on the roster in Lewis, Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown. In today’s pass-happy NFL, having four competent corners seems like a must, and having more depth is never a bad idea.
In the upcoming draft, the Cowboys #10 pick has most often been mocked as a corner, usually Patrick Surtain II or occasionally Jaycee Horn. The glitch in that scenario is that they may go elsewhere at pick #10. Suppose someone like Kyle Pitts or Penei Sewell falls to that pick, would they feel compelled to take them? Or what if Surtain and Horn are somehow gone before the Cowboys are on the clock? That’s a low probability but it could happen. There’s even the chance the team could trade back and then miss out on the corner they want.
That’s why a few days ago we suggested signing a free agent veteran corner who you could count on to start would give the Cowboys total freedom at pick #10. Even if the Cowboys do pick a corner at #10, having a trusted veteran in the fold would allow the Cowboys to ease that pick into the rotation. There is a lot of hope in the play of Trevon Diggs going forward, but we can’t forget that for the first half of last season when he was forced to start, he had a lot of problems. It was only toward the end of the season that he started to round into the form that has given us so much hope for his future.
In that spirit, Bleacher Report has named the Cowboys as the best fit for free agent corner Casey Hayward.
A couple of days before the start of the legal tampering period (March 15), the Los Angeles Chargers released Casey Hayward. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the 31-year-old cover man didn’t fit new head coach Brandon Staley’s system.
Hayward assembled a solid 2020 campaign, allowing a 49.4 percent completion rate and a 93.6 passer rating. He recorded eight pass breakups and an interception.
On the boundary, Hayward can start for a cornerback-needy team. He’s a good fit for the Dallas Cowboys, who must shore up the secondary opposite second-year pro Trevon Diggs.
With the 10th pick, the Cowboys can select the first cornerback in the 2021 draft, whether it’s Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II or South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn. On the other hand, Dallas could add a known commodity for immediate improvement in coverage.
Hayward can reunite with Mike McCarthy, his former Green Bay Packers head coach, and play in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s system, which is similar to ex-Chargers play-caller Gus Bradley’s scheme. The two coordinators have roots in Seattle under lead skipper Pete Carroll.
In Dallas, Hayward will see a familiar face, fits the system, and most importantly, fills a need.
Best Fit: Dallas Cowboys
What’s interesting about Hayward is that he’s still a pretty solid corner with ties to coach Mike McCarthy and has played in a scheme that is very similar to Dan Quinn’s. Besides the money part, it’s hard to see what wouldn’t fit. And at this point, Hayward may come a lot cheaper than his value as free agency has certainly reached the bargain phase.
Knowing how the Cowboys front office operates, it’s unlikely they would do this transaction before the draft. They will probably wait to see how the draft goes, and then will wait out the immediate free agent wave that follows the draft. Only then might they go for a real bargain free agent.