There are many titles in football to describe certain players and their status: elite quarterback, every down lineman, all purposed back, possession receiver, etc. All can be overrated and or misused in pigskin lingo.
One in particular is the term “shutdown corner”. When a cornerback be it college or pro is deemed as such, they are clearly looked at as the best.
While this is indeed true, it’s also very misleading. The shutdown corner most fans know in the NFL is New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis, a perennial pro bowler, has been the standard for years now, but with his injury that sidelined him for most of the 2012 season, many have given Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman that crown, if only for a short while.
The Philadelphia Eagles thought they had a couple of shutdown corners after signing free agent Nnamdi Asomugha from the Oakland Raiders and acquiring Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Arizona Cardinals in 2011, but it didn’t work out as planned.
In the two years both have been in Philadelphia, Asomugha has looked all but lost, while Rodgers-Cromartie has shown more inconsistency than flash. The duo in which Eagles management has invested a lot aren’t likely to return for 2013, which begs the question – does a team need a great pair of cornerbacks to have success in the NFL?
Just take a look at past Super Bowl Champions. The Baltimore Ravens had Cary Williams and Corey Graham in 2012. The New York Giants had Corey Webster and Aaron Ross in 2011. To get a feel of what works in the NFL, you need not look any further than the teams with the rings.
Neither of the two previous Lombardi trophy winners possessed household names at the position. Therefore, do the Eagles, or any other team for that matter, really need a high-priced, high-maintenance corner to win big in the league?
Recent history says no.