FRISCO - Connecting NFL dots is one of our favorite parlor games. Let's try it here, Dallas Cowboys style ...
*Dallas has hired Dan Quinn to serve as its new defensive coordinator.
*Dallas is, in my opinion, about to turn over its secondary personnel.
*Quinn is a vocal admirer of free agent cornerback Richard Sherman.
*Sherman is a vocal admirer of Quinn, having recently said, "I think he's one of the best defensive minds in the game."
*And finally: Quinn revealed this week that yes, when he's looking for guys to play cornerback for the Cowboys, he'll be looking for "Sherman-like traits.''
Is that enough dots for you?
"What you're trying to do is find some of the traits ... You may not find a corner ... like Sherm,'' Quinn said this week shortly after taking the Dallas job, via the Pro Football Focus NFL Podcast. "But what you can find is like, how important ball skills are ... the ability to stop and plant ... Recall - like, how smart he is.''
Yes, Dan Quinn likes Richard Sherman.
It is not difficult to envision Dallas parting ways with its own two free agent corners, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. To replace them, obviously, Quinn's contribution to the search will be to find a Sherman-like corner.
Why not just pursue the original? Fine idea, but ...
The obstacles, though, connect like dots, too.
Sherman, who on top of everything else is unusually long at 6-3, is finishing up a three-year, $27 million deal in San Francisco where a lower-leg injury limited his participation. So, he would seem likely to want a salary in that $9 mil range ... Unless he would take less to make one last run at the Super Bowl, a place where he and Quinn were once regulars when together in Seattle.
Will Sherman view Dallas as Super Bowl-worthy?
The one-last-run idea is born of the fact that Sherman is 33. And age might also be a blockade here. Dallas' free-agent efforts last year focused on older players ... and that did not work out well. How do the Cowboys know what Sherman, a likely future Hall-of-Famer, has left?
My prediction: A shrunken 2021 salary cap is going to create a "middle-class squeeze.'' Good players, good corners, might be (relatively) more affordable than ever. That figures to allow Dallas to avoid paying $10 million for a "name'' one - like Sherman.
More likely? Listening to Quinn - who also praises Sherman for doing things "that don't necessarily show up on tape or in a measurable (way), but they have unique stuff to them'' - maybe the Dallas Cowboys will be guided by the new coordinator to chase "Richard Sherman types.''
CONTINUE READING: NFL Draft Tracker: Dallas Cowboys Trade Down, Pick 2 DBs In Mock