On Tuesday, the Cowboys made what most would consider to be a big trade. They acquired Stephon Gilmore from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a fifth-round pick, which was one of their two fifth-round compensatory picks.
Although he is 32 and will be turning 33 just weeks into next season, his productivity remained high throughout last year.
Gilmore just completed the first year of his two-year, $23 million contract with the Colts. He will join Dallas under contract for one more year with a $7.96 million base salary, more than $2 million on bonuses and a salary cap number of $11.9 million.
That single year with the Colts was a good one for Gilmore, who posted two interceptions, 11 passes defended and 66 total tackles in 16 games. By Pro Football Focus’ numbers, he was the ninth-best cornerback in the NFL last season.
Before that, the former 10th overall pick made five Pro Bowls with the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and a Super Bowl ring in 2019 with the Patriots.
By all accounts, Gilmore pairing with Trevon Diggs leads to one of the best cornerback duos in the NFC, especially with the latest news of Darius Slay being released by the Philadelphia Eagles.
NEW #Cowboys CB Stephon Gilmore in 2022 via @PFF:— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) March 14, 2023
92nd percentile coverage grade.
93rd percentile coverage grade in single coverage.
98th percentile coverage grade in the slot.
t’s a low-risk, high-reward trade for the Cowboys, something that seems foreign in recent years. At his best, he’s a true CB1 that will be paired with another CB1 coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons. Sprinkle in the three-headed monster at safety and DaRon Bland, coming off a rookie season with a team-high five interceptions, the Cowboys secondary is as good as it’s been in years.
So, all things considered, Gilmore should be able to contribute immediately to a defense that was already one of the league’s best.
If you are waiting for more splashes so the Cowboys can really lean into the mantra of being “all-in,” there are a few more names that make sense to trade for.
3. Noah Fant, TE
With Dalton Schultz all but gone, the Cowboys now have Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot as their top two tight ends. Each was a rookie in 2022 and flashed plenty of potential. Even so, Dallas would be smart to try and improve the position before the season begins.
2. DeForest Buckner, DT
In addition to trading Stephon Gilmore, the Colts also released Matt Ryan after just one season. It was a move that needed to happen but it also highlights the current state of their roster. Indianapolis is entering a rebuilding mode under new head coach Shane Steichen and they’re shedding salary as they prepare for this. That means they could potentially be willing to listen to offers for another star defender, DeForest Buckner.
1. Jerry Jeudy, WR
As the 2022 NFL trade deadline approached, it seemed as though Dallas was going to pull the trigger on a deal that would add Brandin Cooks to their receiving corps. While that one was getting all the attention, another possible move was discussed as well — and the trigger should have been pulled. The Cowboys and Denver Broncos were reportedly talking about Jerry Jeudy heading to Big D in exchange for a second-round pick. Dallas balked at the asking price and instead, added T.Y. Hilton for the playoff push.
Free agency is still young, but an unusually good start for the Cowboys leaves some hope that this can finally be the offseason fans have been asking for.