Editor's Note: Since the start of free agency on March 10, the Cowboys have not only seen a few players walk out there, but have been active in trying to fill those voids, along with others. This week, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the comings and goings for the Cowboys here in free agency. Today, we will continue with the cornerback position.
IRVING, Texas – The offseason has provided plenty of high-profile players coming and going in Valley Ranch. And maybe two of the moves that have received the less fanfare is the addition/subtraction of the potential third cornerback and possible slot corner.
However, get to a critical moment in the season and we'll see just how important that position is. In fact, look no further than last year when Sterling Moore found himself on the wrong end of two key plays for the Packers that lifted Green Bay to an NFC Divisional Round win. Moore had been one of the Cowboys' top defensive backs all year but allowed two catches by rookie Davante Adams – one for a touchdown.
Those two plays weren't the reason the Cowboys decided to let Moore walk in free agency, but it was clear the club was looking for an upgrade. They claimed veteran cornerback Corey White off waivers from the Saints and his skills are rather similar to Moore, who signed a one-year deal with the Bucs.
What They've Done:
Although Moore has been in the league four years, opposed to three for White, the number of games played between the two are off by just two. In fact, White has played in more regular-season games 41-40, but Moore owns a 5-2 advantage in postseason appearances, including the Super Bowl. In terms of playing time, it's about the same and White has been a little more active on turnovers. He's had four interceptions in three years and has recovered and forced two fumbles each. Moore has four interceptions, although the first two occurred with the Patriots. White has the edge in overall starts with 19 but Moore was virtually a starter for the Cowboys all last season. So this one is more of a wash.
What They're Worth:
Once again, these two are almost identical when it comes to contract. Moore received a one-year deal with the Bucs worth $1.525 million, which is what he counts against Tampa's cap. The Cowboys claimed White off waivers and absorb his final year of a four-year deal that will pay him $1.542 million, which is also his salary-cap hit. Both players could be released in camp if they don't perform well, making it a low-risk move for the teams. Essentially this one is also too close to call.
How They Fit:
Here's where some of the separation comes into play. Don't forget, the Cowboys claimed White before Moore signed with another team. So they had the chances to bring back Moore but opted to pick up White's contract. White has a little more experience in the nickel as a slot cornerback, which could allow Orlando Scandrick to stay on the outside for the entire time. There were some games last year in which Scandrick matched up against a No. 1 receiver but had to switch off of him to play in the slot. If the Cowboys had a player – like White – to handle the load inside and keep Scandrick on the outside, it would ultimately strengthen the defense. White is a bigger player with more physicality as well, although Moore a savviness about him that allowed him to compete as the Cowboys' third corner.
These two players are about the same. The Cowboys thought they might have to pay Moore a multi-year deal to keep, therefore opted to claim White for one year. Ironically, Moore signed just a one-year deal with the Bucs, who have also signed former Cowboys Henry Melton and Bruce Carter. If White can indeed help the Cowboys more in the slot, it will be a major upgrade because Scandrick is the team's best cover corner and will be allowed to shadow the top receivers throughout the game.