Cowboys Linked to ‘Top’ Player at His Position in Free Agency - Sport News

Cowboys Linked to ‘Top’ Player at His Position in Free Agency

The Dallas Cowboys‘ secondary could look significantly different in 2024, especially if Stephon Gilmore fetches a big-money contract and signs elsewhere when free agency begins.

Cowboys

Given the Cowboys’ limitations under the cap and the possibility that Dallas is priced out of Gilmore’s market, it wouldn’t be surprising to see slot cornerback become an area the organization addresses in free agency. Currently, the Cowboys are $4 million over the cap, which could make retaining Gilmore difficult.

Meanwhile, Aaron Schatz of ESPN lists Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore as the one free agent the Cowboys ‘must sign’ this offseason.

“The Cowboys once again had a strong defense in 2023, ranking fifth in DVOA, and they’re getting cornerback Trevon Diggs back from his torn ACL,” Schatz Writes. “However, both Stephon Gilmore and Jourdan Lewis are free agents, and they could use an upgrade at slot cornerback with Diggs and DaRon Bland holding down the outside.

“Enter Moore, possibly the league’s top slot corner. He ranked 11th last season in coverage DVOA among all corners with at least 300 coverage snaps. The Colts ranked 25th covering outside wide receivers but third covering wide receivers in the slot. Moore also helps in run defense, ranking second among all corners with 43 combined run tackles and assists. His average run tackle last season came after a gain of just 2.9 yards, second in the NFL among cornerbacks with at least 15 combined run tackles.”

As the 2023 season illustrated, particularly losses to the Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins, and a blowout defeat in the playoffs to the Green Bay Packers, the Cowboys are built for their defense — led by its dominant pass rush and strong secondary to play from ahead. That’s because when protecting a lead, the Cowboys can blitz and create turnovers in the passing game. Moore would further bolster a strength and pivotal aspect of the Cowboys’ roster.

Why Kenny Moore is a Fit for Cowboys

If Trevon Diggs can return to form, and DaRon Bland doesn’t regress to the mean after returning five interceptions for a touchdown in 2023, the Cowboys’ cornerback room will feature two of the stingiest perimeter defenders in the sport.

But, adding Moore in the slot has the chance to significantly upgrade the position with a strong veteran presence.

Pro Football Focus points out that opposing wide receivers averaged just 9.3 yards per reception when going up against Moore, who produced 93 total tackles with three interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns in 2023.

In a year where there aren’t many quality slot cornerbacks set to be available in free agency, Moore may be one of the most coveted at the position.

“At 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds,” Brad Spielberger writes for PFF. “Moore never backs down from a tackle opportunity, doing a good job as the force defender to keep ball carriers inside or running the alley to make the tackle himself when called upon — a key role in Gus Bradley’s Cover 3 defense.

“Moore became just the 28th player in NFL history to record two pick-sixes in the same game with his outstanding Week 9 performance and can now look to capitalize on a strong season.”

How Much Will Kenny Moore Cost?

Depending on the outcome of impending contract extension talks with quarterback Dak Prescott, and how much cap space the Cowboys can create as a result of reworking his deal, Dallas might not be able to shop at the top of the market in free agency.

According to A to Z Sports, Moore could command a two-year contract worth $18.5 million, including $9.5 million fully guaranteed with an approximate cap hit of $3.5 million in 2024.

If Moore’s contract winds up resembling anything close to that level of affordability in its first season, the Cowboys could wind up targeting Moore in the early days of free agency without fearing further breaking the bank.

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