FRISCO, Texas – Chidobe Awuzie appears to be the first Cowboys starter leaving in free agency this week.
The 25-year-old cornerback is expected to sign a three-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to NFL Media and reports. Although Awuzie has announced it on his own social media channels, deals are not officially announced until the league year opens Wednesday.
Awuzie, a second-round pick in 2017, started 42 of 49 games over the past four seasons, recording 37 pass breakups and 4 interceptions. A hamstring injury and a stint on the Reserve/COVID-19 list limited Awuzie to eight games in 2020.
He's one of three players from the 2017 draft class set for free agency this week. Cornerback Jourdan Lewis and safety Xavier Woods also have expiring contracts, though it's possible one or both are re-signed.
The Cowboys could also look outside the roster in free agency to address their cornerback depth before the draft.
Awuzie is the third Cowboys player reportedly leaving via free agency since the NFL's legal negotiating window opened Monday. Offensive tackle Cameron Erving and linebacker Joe Thomas are expected to sign with the Panthers and Texans, respectively.