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Source: Cowboys Exploring Free-Agent Signing of CB Dre Kirkpatrick

An NFL Source Tells CowboysSI.com That The Dallas Cowboys Are Exploring A Free-Agent Signing of Former Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick

FRISCO - “We’ll certainly look to improve (at cornerback),'' Dallas Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said the other day, and at the moment, it was assumed he meant "improve'' via this week's NFL Draft.

But an NFL source tells us that the Cowboys' search for improvement also includes the examination of help from former Cincinnati Bengals standout Dre Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick, a first-round pick in the 2012 draft, spent eight years with the Bengals, the former Alabama product serving as a full-time starter for the entirely of his career. Kirkpatrick, 30, is 6-2 and 190 and has ballhawk skills.

He also had a contract that drove Cincinnati to make him a cap-related release, thus saving the Bengals $8.3 million in cap savings in 2020.

"I don't feel like I've done anything for them to remove me," Kirkpatrick said back on Dec. 30. "I feel like I've done everything right. I feel like I was one of the top guys when I was on the field."

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Since then, however, Cincinnati has agreed to terms with former Minnesota cornerback Trae Waynes, a first-round pick in the 2015 draft. Waynes received a three-year deal worth $42 million.

And Kirkpatrick - in fairness part of a Bengals defense that last year ranked 31st in the NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt - is on the street.

We've made mention of Aqib Talib, the DFW native, as a free-agent candidate here. But he's 34, and despite the fact he's repped by Todd France - who is also the agent for front-burner contract issue Dak Prescott - there's been little buzz there.

Of course, early in free agency, the Cowboys lost Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins; Dallas was prepared for that farewell, and while it retained Anthony Brown via free agency and also added young journeyman Maurice Canady, the desire for a corner remains for a team that has Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis atop the depth chart.

The Cowboys could solve the issue in this NFL Draft, with pick No. 17 and their interest in Alabama corner Trevon Diggs or Clemson corner A.J. Terrell. (They also love Florida corner C.J. Henderson, but expect him to be gone.)

Or they could get through the draft ... and then close a deal with Dre Kirkpatrick, who is absolutely on their radar this week.