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High Low

High Low: Cowboys consider adding CB depth in draft


FRISCO, Texas — It's one of the flashiest and most important positions in all of football and, for the first time in a long time, the Dallas Cowboys are able to enjoy fireworks at cornerback. That doesn't mean they're without some thoughts there, as the 2024 NFL Draft approaches, when the position is looked at in its full context in Dallas.

Fact is, it's a cause for celebration that Trevon Diggs will return from injury, but it's unknown just how long it will take him to become his former self. Free agency has seen an exodus of talent from North Texas and Stephon Gilmore remains unsigned and, unless he does so in Dallas, it leaves a void to be filled.

With the retention of Jourdan Lewis, a big keep, and the emergence of DaRon Bland, the spotlight now shifts to the youth behind the top three spots, and that's where things have to truly be sorted going forward.

The brand-new series "High Low" dives into it, with each edition to follow focusing on a different position group leading up to draft week.

Odds: Low

Trevon Diggs: Whenever a team gets a First-Team All-Pro cornerback back from injury, it's kind of a big deal. Thankfully for the Cowboys, Bland and Gilmore were able to help Dallas weather the storm of losing Diggs on the boundary, while Jourdan Lewis got back to cooking in his own return from a devastating injury. Diggs is looking to reach prime form sooner than later and the record-setting interception machine has been working hard in his recovery to try and achieve that mission — one year after signing a multi-year contract extension.

DaRon Bland: As you well know, unless you live under a rock that also lacked Wi-Fi, Bland is a record-setter himself. In 2023, the former fifth-round pick stole the show in only his second season by setting a new NFL record for most pick-sixes in a single season (5) and leading the league in interceptions (9) as Diggs did prior. Imagining how the Cowboys have gone from having no shutdown boundary corners (for years) to having not one, but two, heading into 2024 is flat-out unreal. It's a testament to just how good the scouting department can be.

Jourdan Lewis: Quiet as it's kept, re-signing Lewis on a new deal is one of the most important contracts the Cowboys have signed this offseason. As mentioned, the veteran playmaker suffered a devastating foot injury that nearly ended his NFL career and challenged his mental health, but he returned to the field and it was evident he's back to his usual dynamic ways, and that includes hawking the ball (even when it's a running back carrying it). The trio of Diggs, Bland and Lewis could be devastatingly good for the Cowboys.

Eric Scott: Not unlike the defensive end position, it feels as if Dallas is mostly all set atop the cornerbacks depth chart — the future of Stephon Gilmore still being to-be-determined — but depth is a serious concern due to lack of proven talent from the fourth seat downward. This is where Scott has a fantastic chance to stand out as a player the Cowboys traded up on Day 3 to acquire in 2023. He used his first season in the league to refine his skills and will likely be asked to put them on full display in this year's training camp and beyond as a rotational impact player behind Lewis.

Nahshon Wright, Josh Butler, CJ Goodwin: Mostly relegated to special teams duties, blowout victories and injuries notwithstanding, Wright is entering a contract year that applies a lot of pressure to him to make waves on this depth chart. He's a quality backup indeed, but he must stave off Scott going forward and try and earn as much time on the field as he can to drive his value higher. Count Butler in as one who wants to challenge Wright for snaps, however, and while Goodwin is the resident special teams ace — **now back from a torn pec that ended his 2023 season**— he's also been known to lurk quietly in the background as insurance in the cornerbacks room.

So if the Cowboys were to draft a cornerback this April, when would it be? Realistically speaking, at best, it feels like a Day 3 move — if then. If they weren't able to retain Lewis to go along with the uncertain future of Gilmore, the priority would be higher as they'd be in a much worse situation.

But, seeing as they aren't, they can feel things out and see who falls to them later in the draft before reacting.

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