It is free company time within the NFL, which suggests it is time for the Dallas Cowboys to deploy their common techniques of ready out the primary wave of overpaid contracts and as an alternative focus initially on retaining in-house expertise. That mission received off to a working begin after they awarded two-time Professional Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott a historic four-year contract, and the opposite dominoes have now begun falling. And whereas their newest retention is not as bombastic as that of securing Prescott, it is a transfer that retains probably the greatest cornerbacks on the workforce — particularly Jourdan Lewis — in uniform for the foreseeable future.
The 25-year-old cornerback is re-signing with the Cowboys on a three-year deal price as much as $16.5 million, his agent introduced Wednesday, securing his providers by the 2023 season. It is a massive hold for the Cowboys, who waved goodbye to former 2017 second-round choose Chidobe Awuzie to a heftier three-year deal from the Cincinnati Bengals, with Lewis not-so-arguably being the higher of the 2 defensive backs — notably having been chosen with the workforce’s third-round choose the identical 12 months Awuzie received the draft name.
If there was ever a selection between holding one or the opposite, Lewis needed to be the one. His contract breaks right down to $13.5 million with upwards of $3 million in incentives and escalators, together with $7.75 million assured and a $3.5 million signing bonus — plus a wide range of roster bonuses.
He’ll hit the Cowboys wage cap in 2021 for under $2.62 million (1.3 p.c).
Whereas he is most lately remembered for his outlandish penalty towards the New York Giants in Week 17, that is not been his character at any degree of his soccer profession. Seeing there was no sample of such habits beforehand, the Cowboys forgave him for the transgression, and now sit up for him being the anchor at nickel nook going ahead. It is a place as soon as owned in Dallas by Anthony Brown, who has confirmed himself a succesful starter in that function, nevertheless it was no secret Lewis was principally shelved as a result of measurement by earlier defensive coaches Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard.
For his half, nevertheless, Lewis remained the consummate professional and competitor all through that stretch.
“I management what I can management,” he advised CBS Sports activities in July 2019. “And that is how I put together to play. I am unable to develop one other inch. I do not management that.”
True to his phrase, he managed what he may, and that was his capacity to take the ball away and assist sway the result of video games for the Cowboys. In a time when the workforce was dying of hunger within the takeaway class, Lewis established himself as not solely a bodily nook who would function in protection and blitz packages alike, however that he additionally had a nostril for the ball — like few others on the workforce.
That very season, he grabbed two interceptions and a fumble restoration to associate with 38 mixed tackles, and in solely 5 begins.
As a consequence of Brown’s battle with accidents in 2020, Lewis noticed far more beginning time, however the change to Mike Nolan and Maurice Linguist — very similar to what was seen with security Xavier Woods — led to a down season in each manufacturing and total influence on video games. The excellent news for Lewis is that the Cowboys, who’ve now parted methods with each Nolan and Linguist, changing them with Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt, Jr., aren’t keen to debit final season from the account of Lewis’ potential, having seen what he can do with the best teaching and with reps as a starter.
And this brings us to the query of Brown, who himself was awarded a three-year deal one 12 months in the past. In re-signing Lewis, the Cowboys are principally set at nickel nook in the event that they hold Brown onboard and he can stay wholesome, after having logged solely eight begins in 2020; but additionally grabbing two interceptions and a fumble restoration within the course of. The harm concern will not all of the sudden go away, although, contemplating he began in simply 4 of his 9 obtainable video games in 2019, simply forward of the Cowboys awarding him a multi-year deal.
Because it stands, sources inform CBS Sports activities, the plan is to maintain Brown onboard for the 2021 season, however that is not written in stone simply but. Ought to they discover themselves needing extra cap area, they know releasing him as a pre-June 1 lower would yield them $2.75 million in financial savings after a $3 million lifeless cash hit is deducted, with the financial savings almost doubling to $4.25 million if labeled a post-June 1 launch — the lifeless cash hit on the latter falling to only $1.5 million.
If he is launched in 2022, they will save $5 million no matter when he is let go.
What they do within the 2021 NFL Draft will go a good distance in figuring out the way forward for Brown in Dallas, however so will the plan for Lewis, who opted to stay on a workforce that when stifled his capacity to provide as a result of his measurement. This hints at a dialogue promising him an even bigger function going ahead underneath Quinn and Whitt. As the brand new defensive teaching regime makes their selections, they will take all of this and extra into consideration, together with Brown’s worth as somebody who can be not a stranger to taking part in reverse CB1 as wanted.
However, once more, the workforce would possibly resolve that want in free company and/or the draft, leaving a hill of questions that can all be answered in due time. They’ve already supplied one in ensuring Lewis stays proper the place he’s.