Cowboys Sign Rookie CB Kelvin Joseph to 4-Year Contract

Cowboys Sign Rookie CB Kelvin Joseph to 4-Year Contract


Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Eight down, three to go.

On Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys signed second-round rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph to a four-year contract, the team announced via Twitter.

The Cowboys have now inked eight members of their 11-player draft class. Left unsigned are third-round defensive linemen Osa Odighizuwa and Chauncey Golston, and third-round CB Nahshon Wright.

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Background on Joseph

Selected with the No. 44 overall pick, Joseph played collegiately at LSU as a 2018 freshman, recording 12 tackles and one pass breakup across six appearances. He entered the transfer portal the following year and was forced to sit out the 2019 campaign, per NCAA rules.

Joseph then landed with the Kentucky Wildcats, for whom he compiled an SEC-high four interceptions and one defensive touchdown over nine games last season. He opted out early to enter the 2021 draft.

Joseph (5-11, 197) doubles as an aspiring rapper — he goes by YKDV Bossman Fat — and thus did not arrive in Dallas sans questions about his commitment to the game. His talent, however, is undeniable, profiling as a future NFL starter along the boundary, according to The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs.

Kelvin Joseph is a long perimeter cornerback prospect who should have the opportunity to develop into a starting outside option for a team. Joseph, who was an early entree into the 2021 NFL Draft, has the kind of length that is very popular right now in the NFL game and has been exposed to a number of different roles throughout the course of his career. He was charged with periodically following Florida TE Kyle Pitts but also has played deep third coverage against some of the more prominent offenses on the Wildcats’ schedule—including Alabama. … Because of his inexperience, expect sporadic results in coverage and inconsistent recognition skills until he’s able to allocate more reps and increase his route combination awareness and add more polish to his technique. I wouldn’t endorse an early role, but the three-year projection looks much more favorable than the one-year forecast in 2021.

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2021 Starter?

Joseph’s draft pedigree makes him a front-running candidate to win the CB2 job, working opposite 2020 second-rounder Trevon Diggs. “He can be an immediate starter,” a team source told Mike Fisher of

But he isn’t the only candidate at the position, which also features Wright, who’s flashed playmaking ability in spring practices, and veteran Anthony Brown, who others — like official team columnist Mickey Spagnola — feel is the favorite to start.

There seems to be this assumption that rookie Kelvin Joseph has already been knighted as the Day 1 starter, simply based on his second-round draft status.

Uh, not so fast.

My thinking is sixth-year veteran Anthony Brown might have something to say about that.

And that competition already has started in these OTA workouts, Brown out there at left corner with the presumed first-team defense and Joseph now with the second group.

Again, it’s the offseason, and most times coaches will defer to their more veteran players when it comes to these types of rotations. But also, those same coaches rarely want to just anoint a rookie an automatic starter. They want the guy to earn it.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL