Sources close to the Dallas Cowboys have confirmed the team will target two veteran cornerbacks in free agency this offseason. When free agency begins on March 5, the Cowboys will pursue the Kansas City Chiefs’ Brandon Carr and the Tennessee Titans’ Cortland Finnegan. Both players would be vast improvements over the Cowboys have now, but Dallas failed to sign a veteran free agent cornerback last off-season.
The Cowboys can’t contact Carr or Finnegan until the free agency period officially begins, but Dallas can begin preparing for each player’s spot on the active roster in the meantime. Terence Newman is due to make a little over $6 million this season and after his horrendous 2011 campaign, he’ll likely get cut to make room for Carr and/or Finnegan. Orlando Scandrick got a big payday before the start of the 2011 season, but he didn’t play any better than Newman and he’s nothing more than a third corner to the Cowboys.
It’s unknown if the Cowboys are going to try and sign both Carr and Finnegan, but Dallas will for sure try to sign one of them. Sports Illustrated draft analyst Tony Pauline says word at the NFL Combine is that Carr will be a Cowboy.
“Teams in Indianapolis fully Brandon Carr will end up a member of the Dallas Cowboys via free agency,” Pauline said.
Carr was a star for the Chiefs in 2010, but took a slight step backward last season. Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is known for getting the most out of his players, so Carr might fit in perfectly in Dallas. The 25-year-old recorded 58 tackles and four interceptions last year while breaking up 13 passes.
The Cowboys have a large selection of veteran free agent cornerbacks in this year’s class, but none more intriguing than Finnegan. Guys like the San Francisco 49ers’ Carlos Rogers and the Atlanta Falcons’ Brent Grimes are solid choices, but Finnegan presents a fiery style of play the Cowboys are missing on defense. It takes some attitude to make a defense like Ryan’s click.
Finnegan is regarded by many as a dirty player, but maybe that’s not a bad thing if he ends up in Dallas, where all defenders are considered finesse players. He’s excellent in man coverage, where the Cowboys got roasted last season, and he’s an excellent tackler who provides great run support from the corner position. The 28-year-old is looking to bolster the secondary of a potential contender. Sounds like he’s Dallas-bound.