The Dallas Cowboys came into the offseason with a few holes to fill on their roster. Arguably the biggest was finding a starting cornerback to pair with star Trevon Diggs. Dallas cycled through a few options last season but was on the lookout for an upgrade.
With Anthony Brown hitting free agency, the need was certainly there. The Cowboys can’t count on Kelvin Joseph and Nashon Wright to fill that void, leaving them in quite a predicament. But, it certainly didn’t take long for them to fill that void.
Early on in free agency, the Cowboys pulled off a trade with the Indianapolis Colts. They acquired cornerback Stephon Gilmore in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It was a shrewd move by Jerry Jones as Gilmore got things back on track in 2022.
He looked more like his old self during his single season with the Colts after battling through injuries in 2021 and being traded from the New England Patriots to the Carolina Panthers. The shutdown corner skills looked to be back as he was healthy once again.
What the Cowboys are getting is a true No. 1 cornerback to play opposite Diggs, who is one of the best in the business himself. With two stars, you can expect defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to stick with his Cover-1 defense, which will leave Gilmore on an island more often than not.
That isn’t something Gilmore will be phased by, as he has been one of the most prevalent shadow coverage corners in the NFL in recent years. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Gilmore has 39 games of shadow coverage since 2016, including five last season; both are second in the league. Only Darius Slay has more with 40.
Gilmore shouldn’t have to shadow coverage as much this season playing opposite of Diggs. But, it is certainly nice for the Cowboys to know that he is capable of it should something in their game plan change and call for it to happen.
Throwing the ball against Dallas this season will prove difficult. They have a great pass rush and arguably the best cornerback duo in the NFL now with Gilmore playing one side of the field and Diggs being on the other.