He may be considered the "other" cornerback right now. But even with that, Anthony Brown's play can't go unnoticed.
With everyone focusing on Trevon Diggs' league-leading six interceptions, Brown recorded his second interception in two weeks against the Giants Sunday when he picked off Mike Glennon and returned it for a touchdown.
"They were running that play a few times and I almost got one earlier," Brown said of why he looked so ready to make the play. Brown claimed that he dropped a potential interception against the Panthers the week before and he came into the Giants game planning to make up for it.
Under Dan Quinn's leadership, the Cowboys are generating turnovers at a rate that fans have been begging to see for years. At this point, Brown is one of the team's leaders, having earned that role through preparation, sacrifice, and perseverance. Last season, Brown fractured five ribs and punctured his lung, but he continued to mentor the team and provide mentorship. Now, he is seeing the results of what he knows his defense is capable of.
"It's our work ethic," Brown said of the early season turnovers. "It's the way we go about it in practice. We emphasize the ball all week."
Diggs is clearly leading the way in that department, but Brown says that it's contagious. The two starting cornerbacks were able to compare interceptions after Sunday's game. According to Brown, that's the expectation going into every matchup.
"Meet me in the end zone. That's our motto every week. We're going to touch the ball and create some turnovers and put some points on the board."
Brown's touchdown will likely ease some of the noise out there that he should be replaced in the starting lineup. But there's been a theme to Brown's five-year career with the Dallas Cowboys, it might be the respect he's earned.
He's earned it from the front office; with the release of Jaylon Smith, only Brown, Dak Prescott, and Ezekiel Elliott remain from the vaunted 2016 draft class. He's earned it from two different coaching regimes; as a sixth-round draft pick Brown started numerous games as a rookie under Jason Garrett and has been a starting cornerback for every game this season under Mike McCarthy. And he's certainly earned the respect of his teammates; last June Diggs said that Brown is his mentor on the team and called him his "big brother."
And now, Brown may finally be earning the respect of some of the team's more fickle fans. The veteran cornerback had often been talked about by fans and the media as something of a placeholder at cornerback, who will eventually give up his starting position to a younger player with more potential or a future acquisition. When Brown has been credited, it's usually for the depth he has provided over the years. But with 2021 second-round pick Kelvin Joseph's recovery from injury around the corner, no one seems to be clamoring for Brown to lose his starting job.
But don't expect that to happen anytime soon. Especially if he keeps "meeting his teammates" in the end zone.