Anthony Brown is fending off competition, and critics, to maintain place in Cowboys’ lineup

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Anthony Brown may not have had the impact of all-time great sixth-round picks like Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Greg Lloyd or Terrell Davis, but he was an excellent value pick in the 2016 draft for the Dallas Cowboys. He came in as a great fit for a Cover-3 scheme, at almost 6-foot and just under 200 pounds. Brown had the size to play an outside cornerback, but was athletic enough to also move inside to the slot. Brown ran a 4.33 in his 40, with a 4.19 shuttle and a 7.03 three cone so he could move well enough to play inside even at a bigger size.

In five seasons with the Cowboys he has played in 66 games, and while he is only given credit for 41 starts, being the slot corner in the league nowadays is considered a starting player even though some games they might not actually play the first snap.

Brown has been productive. While only bringing in six interceptions he has accumulated over 200 tackles, 35 pass deflections, four sacks, and three forced fumbles.

The Cowboys signed Brown to a three-year deal going into the 2020 season because he has been a solid player for them the last five years.

Our 2021 player profiles continue with No. 30, veteran CB Anthony Brown.

Background Details

Jersey No.: 30 Position: Cornerback Age: 27 Height: 5-foot-11 Weight: 188 pounds Hometown: Tampa, Florida High School: Hillsborough College: Purdue Draft: Round 6, No. 189 overall Acquired: 2016 NFL Draft

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

NFL Stats

Games

Def Interceptions

Fumbles

Tackles

23

DAL

rcb

30

16

9

1

0

0

0

8

1

0

0

0

0

0.0

55

40

15

2

0

4

24

DAL

LCB

30

16

10

2

16

0

16

11

1

0

0

0

0

1.0

56

47

9

3

2

4

25

DAL

db

30

15

10

1

1

0

1

8

1

0

0

0

0

2.0

44

38

6

2

3

9

26

DAL

30

9

4

0

0

0

0

5

0.0

17

11

6

1

0

2

27

DAL

LCB

30

10

8

2

14

0

14

3

0

0

1

29

1

1.0

39

32

7

1

1

3

Player Profile

Brown making it through the 2021 season with the Cowboys is an open-ended question. Depending on the play and development of other corners like Jourdan Lewis, Maurice Canady, Nashon Wright, and Kelvin Joseph, Brown could be the second outside CB all season or could be on a different team before the year ends. At the start of camp Brown was the leader to be a top three CB on the team. He put on some nice size in the off-season, allowing him to better contend on the outside. He started practicing outside across from Diggs, and clearly had a step on rookie's Wright and Joseph, as well as vets like Canady and Lewis. As camp has extended Brown has been pretty consistent, but the gap has still naturally closed as Wright and Joseph have made more plays with experience. On the inside Canady's play has been a big positive surprise as he has been bringing in interceptions and making plays. All indications after the Cowboys dress rehearsal game against the Houston Texans are that Brown is the CB lining up opposite Trevon Diggs, but even if Brown is, how far off are Kelvin Joseph, and Maurice Canady after their training camps so far? Joseph has to get past a groin injury suffered in the final preseason game, but he is expected to push Brown all season as he gains experience. While Brown is a very solid CB, the first three years were much better for him than the last two seasons. In his first three campaigns Brown played in 47 of 48 games and had snap counts of 68 percent, 81 percent, and 67 percent. Even on the special teams unit Brown played at least 30 percent of the snaps. Over the last two seasons though he hasn't stayed healthy enough to impact the season hardly at all. In 2019 Brown only played in nine games, his snap share plummeted to only 26 percent. That is just one season, but a steep drop off. Unfortunately Brown had a similar season in 2020. He only played in ten games, and not even 50 percent of the defensive snaps. His special teams snaps fell to 7 and 2 percent in 2019 and 2020 also. While the rookie corners and Canady have impressed, Brown hasn't been as great his last two years, and that type of combination could lead the Cowboys to decide the cap room is more important than needing a veteran player to help lead this young defensive backs room. Brown has had a solid training camp but needs to continue to put good tape up all season to keep his job as a starter, and even maintain a big role on this team.

You can find Mike Crum on Twitter @cdpiglet or at Youtube on the About the Cowboys Podcast. This profile is part of our countdown series to the regular season. For the full 90-man roster, go here. For our 53-man roster prediction, go here.

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