Old friend could help Arizona Cardinals at cornerback
By Jim Koch
The Arizona Cardinals could look to get Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie back as a solution to their number-two cornerback dilemma
In retrospect, it’s a trade that the Arizona Cardinals shouldn’t have made. The club’s desperate need for a quarterback back in 2011 may have clouded their judgement. Seven years later, the Cards have an opportunity to recoup part of what they lost in that awful deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Included in the package that Arizona gave up for the overrated Kevin Kolb was a talented young cornerback. It wasn’t enough that Philly had stolen a second-round draft pick for the iniury-prone passer. The fact that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie also was part of the transaction made it pretty darn similar to a highway robbery.
The Cardinals willingness to give away a Pro Bowl corner, and a second-rounder, for a backup signal-caller showed how inept their front office was at the time. Rodgers-Cromartie was a freakish physical specimen with excellent size (6’2″, 203), who had run an electric 4.29 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. The Tennessee State product made the Pro Bowl roster in 2009, and was voted an alternate in 2010.
Rodgers-Cromartie, after refusing to take a pay cut, has been released by the New York Giants. The 31-year old is coming off of a mediocre 2017 (48 tackles, zero interceptions, one pass defensed), after performing exceptionally well the year before. In ’16, “DRC” recorded 49 tackles, picked off six passes and had an impressive 21 pass-breakups.
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The Cards, as usual, are in need of a number-two cornerback again. Tramon Williams replaced the overmatched Justin Bethel last season, but will turn 35 on Friday. The long-time Green Bay Packer is also preparing for unrestricted free agency.
Bringing Rodgers-Cromartie back to the nest would give Arizona an impressive one-two punch at the position. Patrick Peterson has held down one side of the field for seven campaigns, but management has struggled to maintain quality at the post opposite the seven-time Pro Bowler. Antonio Cromartie (who coincidentally is DRC’s cousin) is the last cover guy to excel there, having been voted a Pro Bowl alternate in 2014 as a member of the squad.
Perhaps a return to the desert by the 16th-overall pick of the 2008 draft would benefit both parties. Rodgers-Cromartie would be a fine addition to an already-good Cardinals’ defense. In hindsight, he should’ve never been traded in the first place.