Like Jourdan Lewis before him, Anthony Brown will watch the remainder of the 2022 season from the sideline after sustaining a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts.
If you’re doing the math, that’s two of their top three cornerbacks the Dallas Cowboys have lost to season-ending injuries this season. That’s quite a bit of experience to replace and simply no easy way the Cowboys can go about accomplishing such a feat.
Fortunately for them, DaRon Bland, a fifth-round draft pick by the Cowboys this year, has performed well above expectations since taking over for Jourdan Lewis. Although a rookie, No. 26 has been playing like a seasoned vet, so much so, he’s coming off a game in which he snagged two interceptions against the Colts last week.
In DaRon Bland, the Cowboys look to have stumbled upon their starting nickel CB for the foreseeable future. Whether by luck or design, they have found their replacement for Jourdan Lewis, but sadly, it still completely up in the air as to who will replace Anthony Brown.
When Anthony Brown was carted off the field against the Indianapolis Colts last week the Dallas Cowboys not only lost a starter, but a ton of experience as well. The seven-year vet out of Purdue has played a total of 729 defensive snaps (90.11%) this season, which is second-most among all Cowboys defenders. That experience won’t easily be replaced.
As things stand right now, it appears as if the Cowboys will now turn to their second-year CB Kelvin Joseph, a second-round pick in 2021. While Joseph has shown flashes of having the ability to be a starting caliber cover man, as of yet, he hasn’t proven himself worthy of handling such a responsibility. Ready or not though, he is needed now.
To date, Joseph has mostly been utilized on special teams, playing 67.18% of the snaps compared to just 10.75% on defense this season. Those numbers will likely flip-flop quite a bit now that he is presumably the first man up to take over for Anthony Brown as the starter opposite Trevon Diggs.
Hopefully Kelvin Joseph will have the same type of maturation and growth DaRon Bland has had since being thrust into the starting lineup as an injury replacement. If that is indeed the scenario that plays out, it would be an ideal one for the Cowboys. If not, any Plan B they have likely involves some outside help.
Dallas signed CB Kendall Sheffield earlier this year after losing Jourdan Lewis for the season and also recently added CB Mackenzie Alexander for depth purposes. Both are currently sitting on the practice squad, but could be called up to the active roster as soon as this week against Houston Texans.
While both veterans provide much-needed depth, neither is likely to supplant Kelvin Joseph unless he completely bombs as Trevon Diggs’ counterpart. As the saying goes, “hope springs eternal”. and that’s definitely the case as it applies to the Dallas Cowboys and Kelvin Joseph.
It’s a big step to go from being primarily a special teams player and backup to an everyday starter, but one the Dallas Cowboys are hoping Kelvin Joseph can make a seamless transition into. Fingers crossed that is exactly how things play out because the Cowboys season could be hanging in the balance depending on Joseph’s success or failure as a starter.