Cowboys get Stephon Gilmore from the Colts; Dallas agrees with Leighton Vander Esch: Sources

By Jon Machota, Zak Keefer and Bob Sturm

The Indianapolis Colts have traded cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys, the team announced Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

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Dallas passed for 207.8 yards per game last season, eighth in the NFL. The Cowboys were 12-5 in 2022, falling in the Divisional Round to the San Francisco 49ers. The Colts (4-12) missed the playoffs for the second straight year.

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Cowboys continue to tackle defense and agree 2-year contract with LB Leighton Vander Esch

What are the Colts losing?

From the end of the Colts, the shame of this move is that Gilmore was one of the team’s few bright spots in 2022 – he started 16 games, had two interceptions and had three last-second wins with pass breakups (against Kansas City, Denver and Las Vegas). He heard a lot of what was being said after his exit from Carolina – mainly that he finished as an elite corner – and Gilmore, even at 32, was intent on proving he was still there. one of the best in the game. He did it in Indy and was a stabilizing force in the secondary despite the chaos that engulfed the Colts’ 4-12-1 season. — Keefer

Signs of a rebuild in Indy

With the trade, the Colts earn a fifth-round pick and add about $9.9. million in salary cap space. This signals that rebuilding is underway, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more veterans were traded or released in the next few days. The Colts released quarterback Matt Ryan on Tuesday, a league source says, before much of his 2023 salary kicked in. Center Ryan Kelly could be another, a move that would free up about $8 million more. What does the team intend to do with this financial flexibility? This is what we will have to wait and find out. — Keefer

Why Dallas Chose Gilmore

From all possible points of view, this is a very good bet for the Cowboys. Gilmore may not be what he was when he was arguably the best corner in the league, but he’s still very effective. Dallas saw that firsthand when they visited the city in December when they had a very good game. He’s coming to town to hopefully help out a Cowboys secondary who didn’t have a third corner in San Francisco. They played Trevon Diggs, DaRon Bland and four safeties, including their fourth safety playing a big corner to Israel Mukuamu.

It’s certainly not a ringing endorsement for the big investment in the position in the 2021 draft with Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright in the second and third rounds, but they couldn’t earn the trust of the coaching staff and the front office in December. and were quickly shunned for fliers about Mackensie Alexander and Xavier Rhodes.

Rhodes ironically was replaced by Gilmore in Indianapolis in 2022 and now Gilmore is following him to Dallas with a year left on his contract where he should fit in well with what Dan Quinn likes to do with his corners and combined with Diggs he doesn’t There won’t be many NFC teams that can match the 1-2 punch of those corners on a Cowboys defense that was already pretty salty all around. It’s a very reasonable idea for the team at the cost of a compensatory fifth-round pick. I think that will provide some positivity for the time being in Dallas. — Sturm

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Ranking trade: Cowboys land Stephon Gilmore from Colts, set up dynamic CB tandem

What do the Cowboys win?

Many mock drafts projected the Cowboys would take a corner with their first-round pick, No. 26 overall. It’s clearly not as necessary now. Anthony Brown is an unrestricted free agent. Jourdan Lewis has one year left on his contract.

Gilmore will be 33 this season, so the peak of his career is likely behind him. But he started 16 games last season for the Colts, intercepting a few passes and defending 11 more. He also had a career-high 66 tackles. The Cowboys would like him to play like Gilmore in 2019, when he hit career highs with six interceptions and 20 passes defended. But they would gladly take a repeat of last year’s performance. That coupled with a secondary of play that includes Diggs, Bland, Donovan Wilson, Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker and a passing rush led by Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence, and the Cowboys should continue to have one of the best defenses in the game. NFL in 2023. — Machota

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(Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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