It’s never too late to add veteran help at a thin roster position. But when the help comes in the form of a former first-round draft pick who’s been to three Pro Bowls and played in six postseason contests, the signing may be right on time for an inexperienced Cowboys squad with their sights set on a deep playoff run.
The Cowboys have signed Xavier Rhodes to the practice squad. The cornerback was waived by Buffalo earlier in the week; he had been active in just two contests for the Bills this season.
Taken with the 25th overall pick in 2013, the Florida State product began his pro career with Minnesota. In seven seasons there, he started 97 of 104 games, recording 10 interceptions, 73 defended passes, three forced fumbles, 15 tackles for loss, and 372 tackles as a Viking.
Rhodes is well familiar to current Cowboys senior defensive assistant George Edwards, who was the Vikings’ co-defensive coordinator for Rhodes’s entire Minnesota tenure.
Following his release by the Vikings, Rhodes spent the 2021 and 2021 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, starting 29 games and logging another three interceptions.
He spent the majority of the 2022 campaign on Buffalo’s practice squad, seeing action in Weeks 11 and 13. The 32-year-old has been inactive the past three weeks.
In Dallas, the two-time All-Pro will join a corner crew still looking for stability opposite Trevon Diggs following season-ending injuries to Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown.
Second-year man Nahshon Wright and rookie DaRon Bland have been impressive for late-round draft picks with little playing time. Kelvin Joseph had been expected to step up but has thus far not made much of his opportunities in the secondary.
Kendall Sheffield, Mackensie Alexander, and Trayvon Mullen have all been added to the team’s CB squad in recent weeks.
But with some of the NFC’s top receivers on the docket in the postseason, Rhodes may be able to provide some been-there-done-that poise and leadership as the Cowboys proceed through the tournament.