It is often said that in the NFL you can follow the money. How much a player is paid allows people to discern just how big of a priority they are going to be to their respective team. Some would argue that this is the case for a certain running back on the Dallas Cowboys, but we are not hear to address that issue.
A different sort of label that can often provide a look at how players are valued is draft stock. Obviously the more prestigious the draft selection that was spent on a player the more chances and opportunities they are going to have because the team wants their investment to pay off.
When it comes to the current version of the Cowboys, there is a particular player with relatively high and recent draft stock that may prove to be a bit of an exception to that norm.
It is starting to seem like Kelvin Joseph’s roster spot may not be 100% secure
We are only talking about Kelvin Joseph the football player right now, although Kelvin Joseph the person made keeping the former around a lot more difficult for the Cowboys over the last few months. Nevertheless the franchise pushed forward.
Many expected Joseph to take a similar second-year leap to Trevon Diggs from a growth standpoint, but it isn’t fair to expect any cornerback to haul in 11 interceptions. Interestingly the team has seen veteran Anthony Brown play very well so far to hold on to the other outside spot opposite of Diggs, but Joseph has hardly challenged him to this point.
Before the Cowboy’s first preseason game Joseph was easily the least-impressive cornerback as far as ones likely to make the roster. He struggled during the preseason along with his fellow draftee Nahshon Wright, but Wright has at least had a promising camp. Right now there is not much to recommend for Joseph.
Beyond Brown holding tightly onto the spot that Joseph was expected to pursue, there has been the emergence of rookie cornerback DaRon Bland. Veteran Jourdan Lewis is probably going to miss the remainder of camp and the preseason and the solution that the Cowboys may prefer could be elevating Bland to a nickel corner role as opposed to sliding Brown inside and having Joseph play outside.
Obviously the Cowboys want to feel like it isn’t a stretch to hand Joseph a bigger role but his play isn’t meriting that level of responsibility right now. Not only is Joseph playing not well enough to the point that a configuration without him might be preferred if Jourdan Lewis misses time, but his roster spot as a whole is seemingly a bit in question right now.
In a recent mailbag over at the mothership Nick Eatman noted that he does not believe Joseph is a lock to make the 53-man roster despite his draft status of just a year ago.
One thing I’ve learned a long time ago, this stuff has a sense of working itself out. We think it’s crowded now, but give it a week or so and it will become clear. As for predictions, I see Goodwin, Wright and Bland all making the team. We’ll see about Kelvin Joseph but at this point, I don’t think it’s a lock, even though he’s a second-round pick.
It certainly says something that the consensus agrees that DaRon Bland, a fifth-round rookie, is a stronger lock for this roster than Kelvin Joseph. There is still time of course for Joseph to develop and prove himself before rosters are due, but just about everything to this point has been the opposite of what you want to see.
Recently our own Connor Livesay offered up a 53-man roster prediction that left Joseph out. It wouldn’t be the first time that an NFL team cut a second-round player before his second season in the league, but it would be quite the whiff and generally speaking teams don’t like to admit that they were that wrong on a selection.
The Cowboys are fortunate enough to have the depth to sustain cutting Joseph by way of the rest of their cornerbacks and they deserve credit for finding DaRon Bland this year. Similarly they deserve credit for the aforementioned Nahshon Wright as again he has shown signs of life albeit with an underwhelming preseason performance.
Time is running out for Kelvin Joseph to make a case for himself. And in the interim everyone else is making their own.