Dallas Cowboys 2021 player profile: Jourdan Lewis

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Jourdan Lewis was a bit of a polarizing draft prospect due to his size. An off the field issue caused him to drop into the third round but Lewis was fast, excellent at running a route with a WR and had athleticism to recover and make plays on the ball from the trail position. With excellent feet and hips he played well in press, off-man coverage and in zone. He brought plenty of production to the Dallas Cowboys as well, ending his college career with six intercepted passes and 37 pass deflections.

Lewis’ professional snap count has gone the way of the roller coaster, playing a lot early under Rod Marinelli, rarely being used under Kris Richard and then getting a big bump again last season under Mike Nolan.

Under Richard, though his snap counts were down, an interesting aspect to his game emerged. Lewis is excellent around the line of scrimmage coming off the edge, and is a weapon to a coordinator who likes to mix things up. He wasn’t asked to do that last year under the direction of Nolan and departed secondary coach Mo Linguist, and like the rest of the unit, his coverage grades dropped precipitously in 2020.

With fellow slot corner Anthony Brown signing a contract extension prior to last season, it looked like the end of Lewis’ time in Dallas, but then the team signed Lewis to a similar multiyear deal this past offseason. What will the new season hold in store for him under Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt, Jr.?

The next player in the player profile countdown is No. 26, CB Jourdan Lewis.

Background Details

Jersey No.: 26 Position: Defensive Back Age: 25 Height: 5-foot-10 Weight: 186 pounds Hometown: Detroit, Michigan High School: Cass Technical College: Michigan Draft: 2017 Round 3, No. 92 overall Acquired: Original team

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(AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)

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(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

NFL Stats

Dallas Cowboys

Year

Games

Starts

Pass Deflections

Interceptions

Forced Recoveries

PFF Defensive Grades

Sacks

TFLs

Tackles

2020

15

13

2

0

1

48.1

2

7

40

2019

16

5

6

2

1

68.7

4

4

38

2018

15

1

1

1

2

76.6

0

0

10

2017

15

7

10

1

0

72.0

0

2

48

Salary Details

From OverTheCap

Year

Base Salary + Roster Bonus

Prorated SB

G'teed Salary

Cap Number

Age

2021

$1,250,000 + $250,000

$1,166,666

$1,250,000

$2,637,254

26

2022

$3,000,000 + $500,000

$1,166,666

$0

$4,666,666

27

2023

$4,500,000 + $500,000

$1,166,668

$0

$6,166,668

28

Total Remaining

$8,750,000 + $1,250,000

$3,500,000

$1,250,000

$13,470,588

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Player Profile

Lewis would have a great argument that his size was held against him, and that maybe he should've played on this team a lot more since being drafted. In 2017, under the defensive coordinator who drafted him Lewis played in 15 games, starting seven games and played in 71% of defensive snaps (746). In 2018 Richard entered as the new coordinator of the pass defense, and he was a staunch believer in corners being over six feet and 200 pounds. Lewis didn't fit that standard, and in those next two season under Richard, Lewis combined for only six starts. He account for only 63 tackles, seven pass deflections, and three intercepted passes in that two year span. His snap count fell from all the way down to 18 percent in 2018 and only 55 percent in 2019. The lack of playing time under Richard, after playing a lot as a rookie, suggests the coordinator didn't play Lewis much and the reasoning was seen as a lack of size the DC wanted on his teams corners. However he was able to record four sacks on the year and another four tackles-for-loss. In walks Nolan in 2020, and even though Lewis didn't get any taller or longer, his snap counts certainly increased. He increased his total plays and snap percentage to the highest in his career at 817 snaps, 74%, and Lewis started in 13 contests, more than the other three years prior combined. He was still able to effect the game near the line of scrimmage adding two more sacks and seven TFLs. Lewis compares favorably to his counterpart in Brown. In the last three campaigns Lewis allowed 7.4, then 12.3 yards and 8.7 yards per completion. Brown allowed 12.9, 11.1, and 12.3 yards over that same span. Brown allowed higher yards-per-target as well, allowing 8.0, 6.7, and 8.4 compared to Lewis at 5.1, 8.5, and 5.5 respectively. Lewis allowed a QB rating on throws to his area of 58.2, 86.8, and 94.6. Brown allowed 107.2, 79.9, and 96.7. Advanced metrics would tell the team Lewis was at least comparable to Brown, so why didn't he get the same opportunities while Brown was healthy? The Cowboys fanbase hope these trends, plus a new contract for Lewis, and a move for Brown to the outside means Lewis might be getting his chance at the slot corner position. So far in camp Lewis has been hindered by injury, and it has allowed 2020 free agent and opt out Maurice Canady to shine in the slot. This has just added more uncertainty to Lewis' role. In the dress rehearsal game against the Houston Texans, Lewis was the starting nickel corner, and it is expected he'll be that in the opener against Tampa Bay. The question is how long he remains there.

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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