FRISCO, Texas — Don't look now, but the Dallas Cowboys have some very real depth at the cornerback position heading into the 2023 season. That's because they've made the decision to activate Jourdan Lewis to the 53-man roster ahead of cutdowns, ending his stint on the team's reserve list.
Lewis, 27, suffered a major foot injury against the Detroit Lions — on an interception — that was labeled as a Lisfranc injury and pushed him to season-ending injured reserve. He began training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, and there he has remained until now.
The talented playmaker has progressed ahead of schedule in his recovery, also noting (in mid-August) his ability to "do everything" physically; and that the only hurdle left for him to overcome was to regain his game form, stamina-wise.
He'll now get the chance to do that as early as the regular season opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 10.
The former third-round pick has drawn high praise from players and coaches alike, most recently from head coach Mike McCarthy in Oxnard, for not only the way Lewis attacked his recovery, but also for his mentorship of young talent and his role on the Cowboys' Leadership Council.
Lewis rejoins a room of cornerbacks headlined by not only First-Team All-Pro Trevon Diggs, but also a breakout talent in DaRon Bland and Stephon Gilmore — a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year. That makes for a very robust top four on the Cowboys depth chart at CB, one that rivals any you'd find around the league.
Prior to suffering the injury last October, Lewis had been a bit of an ironman for the Cowboys. He was available for 77 regular season games over his first five seasons with the club, 26 of them being as a starter once he was awarded the role full-time in 2021.
His nose for the ball is always evident, and his four interceptions, two fumble recoveries to go along with a forced fumble and 12 pass break ups over the past two seasons are impossible to ignore.
At one point, in the pre-Diggs era, Lewis was the only ballhawk on the team. Adding him back into a mix that features several, at all three levels, only makes him (and the defense as a whole) arguably that much more dangerous.
In the absence of Lewis and Anthony Brown last season, both suffering season-ending injury, the Cowboys struggled mightily to field three capable cornerbacks and it showed, e.g., versus the Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Having four dominant cornerbacks helps ensure they won't start this season with that same issue.