‘A Clean Slate’: New Chance For Lewis To Impress As CB

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - Jourdan Lewis is nothing if not frank. So it doesn’t take any deep reading between the young veteran cornerback’s lines to understand his hints about the old Dallas Cowboys coaching regime vs. the Mike McCarthy-led new staff.

“They said that everybody has a clean slate,” Lewis said, via DallasCowboys.com. “It doesn’t matter how big, tall, how long you’ve been here ... it doesn’t matter. If you can play ball, they want to see you in that position to go and compete for that job.”

The insinuation is clear: The Cowboys have of late stated clearly a desire for cornerbacks who “fit a certain profile.” That “profile” included a wish for height, size, length.

That's part of the reason Lewis, despite being touted as a playmaker when he was taken in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft - and despite fitting another Dallas draft profile because of his big-school resume (Michigan) - often got lost in the shuffle.

Why? Because Lewis is 5-10.

Not tall. Not big. Not long.

Worth noting: The change to McCarthy (with Mike Nolan running the defense) doesn't mean size is suddenly unimportant. Personnel boss Will McClay looks for the same traits in cornerbacks that he's always favored. Little wonder that Dallas' two draftees at cornerback this year are Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson II.

Trevon Diggs is 6-2, 195.

Reggie Robinson II is 6-1, 190.

The Cowboys also have a pair of free agent additions in Daryl Worley and Maurice Canady.

Daryl Worley is 6-1, 215.

Maurice Canady is 6-1, 193.

So Jourdan Lewis' battle, in one sense, remains the same.

Lewis talks of mentoring the new guys, and there's no doubt he'll do so. At the same time, he's in a contract year coming off a season in which he played just half the snaps - and even that opportunity to join Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie on the field came largely due to an injury to Anthony Brown.

Jones is gone, but Awuzie and Brown are still here, jousting with Lewis for playing time ... and now a pair of kids join the fray as well.

Lewis' mindset?

"Just not even thinking about my circumstance, just understanding the type of football player that I've always been and understanding that I have the ability to go out there and change games," he said.

An opportunity that sounds promising - if the "traits'' are rendered less important than what is newly-written on that "clean slate.''