How well will the Cowboys’ cornerback room perform in 2022? Will Trevon Diggs continue to dominate or will another cornerback step up for Dallas this year?
Next up on our roster predictions list, we have the cornerback position. The Cowboys have been blessed and hurt by this position for quite a while. The 2021 season for Trevon Diggs was one to remember as he was named to his first Pro Bowl and was named first-team All-Pro.
While it wasn’t a horrible season for the other cornerbacks, Trevon Diggs has set a new bar for how well this group could perform overall. That being said, the Cowboys went and drafted new names to the cornerback room. This group has plenty of talent to help the Cowboys’ defense become a top-five defense in the NFL. So, let’s break down who will be leading the cornerback room as we get closer to the 2022 season.
Right, Left CB1- Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown
The first set of corners we will focus on is the main two, Diggs and Anthony Brown. Diggs and Anthony Brown are likely to be the starting corners for a few years guys. Let’s talk about Diggs first since he will get the most attention out of them all.
Diggs finished 2021 with 11 interceptions tying Everson Walls’s franchise record for a season. He might have sacrificed some big plays along the way but he still finished as the highest-graded corner in press coverage for 2021 with a 58.3 PFF grade. Diggs showed that he can be beaten on home run plays but his 11 interceptions and 21 pass deflections prove he is still pretty solid.
While he was the second-most penalized corner in the NFL last year, Diggs showed he is ready to be the go-to guy in this secondary. Do not be surprised if Diggs flirts with another double-digit interception year in 2022.
Anthony Brown on the other hand was nowhere near 11 interceptions. He finished with three picks, 71 combined tackles, and 17 pass deflections which are all career highs. The way I see it, Brown showed that despite the high production from Diggs, he can still be a factor on defense. Brown finished 2021 allowing only 65 receptions (4th best in NFL). That is a pretty solid stat considering he was targeted the second-most times in the NFL last year. Look for Brown to once again be ready to make big plays and assist Diggs in locking down receivers at least in press coverage.
Nickle CB1- Jourdan Lewis
Next, we have the coveted nickel-back position that has become rather important for Dallas. Jourdan Lewis has cemented his role on this roster since he joined Dallas in 2017. Lewis is another player that saw a boost in their stats in 2021. He finished with a career-high 61 tackles as well as a career-high three interceptions.
While Lewis might not have blown apart the stat book in 2021, he did finish top-20 in every category via his PFF ranking for 2021. Lewis has the potential to be an All-Pro cornerback with how well he fits into Dan Quinn’s defensive schemes. The biggest thing Lewis has going for him is he has the most experience in the slot. In 77 appearances and 39 starts, most of that was in the slot position. While Dallas has Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright, Lewis will easily see most of if not all of the starting time as the nickel corner in 2022.
Right, Left CB2- Nahshon Wright, Kelvin Joseph, DaRon Bland
Now we move on to the second unit of cornerbacks for 2022. I already mentioned Wright and Joseph above having some experience so they are the obvious choice to be the second unit of cornerbacks. Wright and Joseph are both still fairly new to the Dan Quinn system but I see no reason they do not continue to adjust and get better for 2022.
Wright has hardly contributed in the stat book but there has not been a huge need for him with how Diggs and Brown have performed. Wright appeared in 13 games in 2021 and only accumulated nine tackles and a fumble. Unless Wright outperforms the others, his role will stay minimal until further notice.
Kelvin Joseph is in a similar boat to Wright but Joseph contributed a little more. Joseph finished 2021 with a fumble recovery, 16 tackles, and two pass deflections. Joseph could face a suspension from the NFL for an off-field incident recently.
If Joseph is gone, then newly drafted DaRon Bland could see some playing time. Bland showed in college he can use his speed and length to be a good defender vertically. Where he lacks is in the short area routes where true speed could beat him. Bland will need to prove in camp he can step in for Kelvin Joseph should he get suspended. Bland plays best in zone coverage as he has shown the ability to disguise himself in the formation and pick off passes but he struggles in man coverage and gets grabby and could rack up penalties. Only time will tell if Bland will truly become a valuable draft pick in an already filled cornerback room.
Which cornerback will step up the most in 2022? Comment below and join the discussion!
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