Despite what the major media outlets try to say, there are several options for the Dallas Cowboys should they choose to chase a free agent defensive back. There will be plenty of competition, to be sure, as the NFL is a pass-happy league meaning that secondary players are at a premium in a dilluted market. The onset of T.E.E., the Tight End Era, makes the job of defensive backs even more difficult, as you need size and speed to cover the Jimmy Graham, Jermichael Finley and Rob Gronkowski's of the world.
There are interesting players on the market. Brent Grimes of Atlanta has turned himself into a cover corner. Cortland Finnegan from Tennessee has skills and Brandon Carr of Kansas City is intriguing as well.
There is also a litany of cornerback prospects in this April's amateur draft; deep enough that immediate starters could be found throughout the second round.
With that, there is absolutely no reason for Dallas to invest any money in the recently released Stanford Routt, formerly of the Oakland Raiders. I know, he has a history with Rob Ryan. He also has a history of clutching and grabbing and getting beaten by receivers.
I won't pretend to be an expert on Routt, I've only watched him play a few times over the past few years. However, I remember the mockery and laughter when he was handed that ridiculous contract by the Raiders that seemed to be more of a Asomugha-intended backhand than a compliment to his own abilities.
Taking a look at Pro Football Focus' grades on the gent's last four years, there isn't much evidence to support any contention he is more than a third corner, at best. Dallas already has an overpriced one of those in Orlando Scandrick.
In 2011, Routt had more penalties called against him than defensive stops (offensive failure based on down/distance) credited. By a wide margin, 17 to 11.
Here's a look at his cumulative grades over the past four years. Remember, he had the most penalties called against him than any other corner in '11, and second most in '10. That greatly reduces the completion percentages and QB ratings against him.
|Pass Cov. Grade
|Compl % against
|QB Rating Against