As the Cowboys shift from free agency to the draft, let's focus on players who are under contract, with a look back to last year but still focusing on their role for the 2023 season. Today, we'll continue the series with cornerback Kelvin Joseph.
What Worked: Joseph got the majority of his playing time on special teams in 2022 for the Cowboys and proved to be a strong asset for John Fassel's bunch. He played in 16 games and played in 317 snaps on special teams and in a combined 483 snaps totaled 20 combined tackles, the most he's had in a season in just his two years in Dallas. Joseph solidified his role as a valuable special teams player while playing sparingly at cornerback.
Needs Some Work: When the Cowboys ran into the injury bug at the cornerback spot by losing both Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown to season ending injuries, the organization looked outside to the likes of Xaiver Rhoades as a midseason pickup and Nahshon Wright to fill those voids before Joseph. In his limited time at cornerback, the former second round pick allowed 12 completions on 18 targets for 219 yards and four touchdowns and over 18 yards a completion.
His Best Work: In what was arguably the biggest play of Joseph's young career, the 22-year-old made what could have been a game-changing play against the 49ers in the NFC Divisional round. Early in the third quarter with the Cowboys trailing, Joseph wrapped up Ray-Ray McCloud on a San Francisco punt return to force a fumble and give the Cowboys excellent field position.
Contract Consideration: 2023 will mark Joseph's third year in Dallas where he is set to earn just below $1.4 million in base salary with a cap charge of $2.1 million thanks to a $754,757 prorated bonus. That cap hit will rise to just south of $2.5 million in 2024 before Joseph will be eligible for free agency.
What's Next: With the addition of Stephon Gilmore and the emergence of DaRon Bland alongside Trevon Diggs, the Cowboys are in very good shape at cornerback. Joseph will have his work cut out for him if he wants to potentially crack that rotation, but will still be a very useful piece on special teams as the Cowboys hope to find Joseph to be reliable on and off the field.
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