(Editor's Note: Over the next month, the staff of DallasCowboys.com is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into 2021. Today, we'll debate if rookie Kelvin Joseph becomes one of the top three cornerbacks.)
FRISCO, Texas – We all know how much the Cowboys tried to land a cornerback in this draft, hoping to get one in the first round. But when the top two corners were off the board, forcing the Cowboys to pivot and draft Micah Parsons, they still made sure to address the need, taking two on Friday's portion of the draft.
So just how much will Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright contribute right away? We asked the writers to forecast the starting lineup to name the top three cornerbacks when the season begins.
7) Will Cowboys' Top 3 CBs Include Joseph?
David Helman: Maybe I'm just boring, but I don't think people fully appreciate how hard it is to start as a rookie – especially at this position. I know Trevon Diggs did it last year, but that's not the norm. Diggs, Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis combine for 10 years of starting NFL experience, which gives them a pretty obvious leg up on the likes of Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright. I'm not ruling out the possibility that the rookies earn playing time as the season goes along, but I think the veterans will hold on to their jobs at least through the first month or so of the season.
Rob Phillips: Second-round draft pick Kelvin Joseph has a lot of talent and I think he'll end up playing quite a bit over the full 17-game schedule. But based on the very small sample size we saw in OTAs, it's hard not to go with the veteran group of Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis heading into training camp. We just didn't get to see many reps from Joseph, though he was cleared for the two-practice minicamp, and rookie cornerbacks usually go through an adjustment period as Diggs did last year. Fourth-round draft pick Nahshon Wright was the most impressive rookie defensive back in the sessions we saw. It's important for the Cowboys to help both Joseph and Wright get ready to play. The top four cornerbacks on last year's roster all missed at least one game, so depth is critical at the position.
Jonny Auping: I think the Cowboys would like to be able to say that Kelvin Joseph is one of their three best cornerbacks by the end of the season, but I doubt they're counting on him being one of the three best in Week 1. Trevon Diggs is a presumed starter and I imagine Jourdan Lewis is signed to play a similar role on the inside that Orlando Scandrick did for much of his time in Dallas. But ultimately Anthony Brown doesn't get enough respect as a starter on the outside. He's started plenty of games and he's made plenty of plays. There's no question he's a safer option than a rookie. Maybe Joseph will steal the job from him at some point, but either way the rookie will probably be needed over the course of 17 games. You need more than three cornerbacks to make it through a season.