Cowboys Not "Cornered" in '09

The 2009 season presents two strong options at the cornerback position for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Scenario one would be to move the aging Anthony Henry to free safety (a position he tinkered with in college), move Ken “The Hammer” Hamlin back to his natural position at strong safety and cut Roy “Superman” Williams. This would allow Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick to move up to the #2 and nickel positions respectively. It would also allow us to put off drafting a safety high in the draft, allowing us to concentrate on defensive end/nose tackle and middle linebacker. This scenario would also have us signing a lower priced veteran free agent as well as drafting another corner in the later rounds. Alan Ball is also still on the payroll, so I guess you could say he’s still in the mix. In reality, his days are numbered. 

Scenario two would have Henry staying at corner and competing for a starting job. This would force us to either keep Roy Williams and Ken Hamlin where they are, or draft a safety high and cut Williams. I don’t like this for a couple of reasons. I don’t see Henry, who is paid like a starter, losing his starting job and being o.k. with it. A demotion instead of a chance to start at another position is a kick in the face to a veteran Cowboy. Also, this would postpone our other starting needs another round in the draft. 

My list of pre-free agency needs in order with Henry moving to free safety are as follows: 

  1. Starting Right Defensive End or Nose Tackle
  2. Starting Weak Inside Linebacker
  3. Backup Free Safety
  4. Backup Nose Tackle or Right Defensive End
  5. Backup Corner Back
  6. Backup Quarterback
  7. Backup Center
  8. Backup Guard
  9. Backup Offensive Tackle 
10. Backup Outside Linebacker  

 

The list changes, in my opinion, for the worse if Henry is kept at corner. It would also all but force you to move Ratliff to defensive end because of a lack of starting 3-4 defensive end depth.
 
  1. Starting Safety
  2. Starting Nose Tackle (There are no starting defensive ends at this point. Tyson Jackson would represent the bottom of that list and he’s long gone at this point.)
  3. Starting Weak Inside Linebacker
  4. Backup safety
  5. Backup Nose Tackle
  6. Backup Corner Back
  7. Backup Quarterback
  8. Backup Center
  9. Backup Guard 
10. Backup Offensive Tackle
 
As you can see, getting three true starters in a draft is a lot harder to do than trying to get two, especially if your first pick is at 51. It would move our backup draft positions down a round and limit our options on the d-line as well. 

Cutting Roy Williams (the safety) is an expected move. Freeing up his salary would allow us to use some of that money to sign a veteran low priced cornerback. Here is a (I believe) complete list of free agent cornerbacks in ’09: 
 

Nnamdi Asomugha    UFA Raiders

Ron Bartell        UFA Rams

Fakhir Brown       UFA Rams

Ralph Brown        UFA Cardinals

Fernando Bryant    UFA Steelers

Phillip Buchanon   UFA Buccaneers

Jarrett Bush       RFA Packers

Chris Carr         UFA Titans

Ahmad Carroll      UFA Jets

Jason Craft        UFA Rams

Travis Daniels     UFA Browns

Kevin Dockery      RFA Giants

Demarcus Faggins   UFA Texans

Jamar Fletcher     UFA Bengals

Domonique Foxworth UFA Falcons

Chris Gamble       UFA Panthers

Aaron Glenn        UFA Saints

André Goodman      UFA Dolphins

Cletis Gordon      RFA Chargers

Charles Gordon     RFA Vikings

Eric Green         UFA Cardinals

Jabari Greer       UFA Bills

DeAngelo Hall      UFA Redskins

Joselio Hanson     UFA Eagles

Kelvin Hayden      UFA Colts

Reynaldo Hill      UFA Titans

Daven Holly        UFA Browns

Corey Ivy          UFA Ravens

William James      UFA Jaguars

Chris Johnson      UFA Raiders

Eric King          UFA Titans

Ty Law             UFA Jets

Omare Lowe         UFA Jaguars

Anthony Madison    RFA Steelers

Ricky Manning      UFA Rams

Derrick Martin     RFA Ravens

Bryant McFadden    UFA Steelers

R.W. McQuarters    UFA Giants

Deltha O’Neal      UFA Patriots

Evan Oglesby       RFA Ravens

Dimitri Patterson  RFA Chiefs

Karl Paymah        UFA Broncos

Hank Poteat        UFA Jets

Keiwan Ratliff     UFA Colts

Dunta Robinson     UFA Texans

Allen Rossum       UFA 49ers

Lewis Sanders      UFA Patriots

Benny Sapp         UFA Vikings

Scott Starks       UFA Jaguars

Donald Strickland  UFA 49ers

Leigh Torrence     RFA Saints

Michael Waddell    UFA Raiders

Jason Webster      UFA Patriots

Corey Webster      UFA Giants

Jimmy Williams     UFA Texans

Stanley Wilson     UFA Lions

 
This list provides the Cowboys with plenty of low cost options in free agency.
 
In the draft, assuming we are drafting for depth, (around Round 5 pick #148 or #158) here are a list of possible candidates:
 
Morgan Trent, Michigan
Height: 6-1. Weight: 188.
Projected 40 Time: 4.47.
Projected Round (2009): 4
 
Joe Burnett, Central Florida
Height: 5-11. Weight: 184.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round: 4-5
 
Kevin Barnes, Maryland
Height: 6-1. Weight: 188.
Projected 40 Time: 4.43.
Projected Round (2009): 4-5
 
Cary Harris, USC
Height: 6-0. Weight: 184.
Projected 40 Time: 4.47.
Projected Round (2009): 5.
 
Glover Quin, New Mexico
Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2009): 5-6
 
Londen Fryar, Western Michigan
Height: 5-11. Weight: 192.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2009): 6
 
DeAngelo Willingham, Tennessee
Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2009): 6 
 
List and Info from WalterFootball.com
 
My favorite, because of competition level and likelihood of being available, is Cary Harris. 

I hope this gives everyone a clearer view of our situation at cornerback heading into the 2009 offseason.
 
Next up: Quarterback

Comments
  1. JTLovesBigD

    Are you serious? You have no clue what you are talking about. You say, and I quote, “A demotion instead of a chance to start at another position is a kick in the face to a veteran Cowboy.” So your trying to tell me that Superman is not a veteran Cowboy. Roy was a Cowboy way before Henry even had the thought in his mind of joining the team. Henry hasn’t proven to be any better than Roy at anything plus he can’t stay healthy. To give up on Superman now is total disrespect. The DB coach is the one to blame plain and simple. The entire secondary looks like crap, Newman and Hamlin included. That’s because the coverages that are being called are crap and the players don’t get even a chance to make a play. It’s the coaches fault 80% of the time.
    Either way, the secondary won’t be fixed overnight. They looked bad last year, waaay worse this year, and who is to say they will get any better next year?

  2. Nate

    JT-
    Im glad you love Big D. I do too. I also love and respect fellow fans. Your opinion is just as valid as anyone elses and I definately respect and thank you for voicing your opinion here.
    As for Roy, in MY opinion, he has’nt been the same since Darren Woodson retired. He has proven over and over that he is incapable of covering any tight end in our conference and has been demoted to a two down safety. He carries a 6.6 million dollar cap hit this year. We are currently around 10 million under the cap. We have to give Ware his big contract and replace starters at defensive end or nose tackle as well as weak inside linebacker. All of these reasons are why the writing has been on the wall since he went on IR. I’m not the only one that sees this either. Listen to Talkin Cowboys or the Lunch Break on DC.com and those guys have been calling for his head for years.I realize it’s hard to accept. I own multipleRoy jerseys as well as a FatHead that oversees my pantry. Ive been a Roy fan for a long time, but his time here is over and it’s time to move on.

  3. Bryon

    Well, i feel, there is a 3rd Scenario, I Say, Move Ken to SS and move Roy back to FS, keep Henry as a CB or a Back up FS. Roy hasnt been the same since moving to the SS postion, so i say, put him back at FS, and watch the Superman Fly.

  4. Jack

    The Cowboys should draft Taylor Mays from USC. This kid is 6’1 or 6’2, fast, strong, good pass coverage and can hit hard.

  5. Nate

    Taylor decided to stay in school but would be an excellent idea for next year.