FRISCO, TX — If you thought the Dallas Cowboys were done adding talent ahead of what they hope will be a playoff run, think again. The team is signing cornerback Xavier Rhodes to the practice squad just ahead of their trip to take on the Washington Commanders in the regular season finale, again addressing a position of need ahead of the tournament.
Rhodes is a former three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro who parlayed his first-round pick status with the Minnesota Vikings (2013) into an NFL stretch that, at one point, saw him ascend the ranks to being one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.
That led to a five-year, $70.1 million contract extension with the Vikings in 2017, but the two sides would go on to divorce in 2020 — seven seasons after Rhodes first arrived in Minneapolis and as the franchise's record-holder for most passes defensed by a rookie as well as longest interception return (his famous 100-yard sprint in 2016).
Rhodes has since spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills en route to now landing in Dallas this January, joining a practice squad that had a vacancy following the move to place safety Juanyeh Thomas on injured reserve.
It's yet another move for head coach Mike McCarthy and Dan Quinn in an attempt to strengthen the depth at cornerback following the season-ending injuries to both Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown. Rhodes follows the recent acquisitions of Trayvon Mullen (claimed via waivers in December), Mackensie Alexander (signed to practice squad in December) and Kendall Sheffield (signed to the practice squad in October).
Currently, it's former fourth-round pick Nahshon Wright manning the boundary opposite First-Team All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs, with rookie sensation DaRon Bland taking on nickel/slot duties — Wright trending upward after replacing a struggling Kelvin Joseph.
The spot remains in Wright's possession heading into Washington, and likely into the playoffs as well (barring regression), but the Cowboys are clearly all-in on trying to end their decades-long Super Bowl drought; in a season that's seen them acquire several notable talents on both sides of the ball.
Rhodes is simply the latest.
The 32-year-old joins the Cowboys with a resume that boasts 13 career interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, 92 pass break ups and 457 combined tackles, hoping to rebuild his brand and possibly hoist his first-ever Lombardi trophy in the process.