ESPN’s “Football Scientist” KC Joyner (no relation) says that two Dallas Cowboys lead the list of the most underrated cornerbacks in the NFL.
One of the things I enjoy most is cutting through this kind of subjective analysis. It is in this frame of mind that I present my list of the five most overrated and underrated cornerbacks in the NFL. Keep in mind these are not necessarily the best or worst players at this position. These are simply the players whose reputations don’t match their performance level.
1. Anthony Henry, Dallas Cowboys — Henry’s reputation suffers from being lined up opposite Terence Newman, but his metrics are actually better than Newman’s (6.5 yards per attempt for Henry versus 7.8 for Newman). Henry’s metrics are even more impressive when you realize he is targeted nearly twice as often as Newman (75 pass attempts thrown at Henry to 44 for Newman).
Opposing teams have been testing Henry on deep passes of late, throwing 12 deep balls at him in the past five games, but he has allowed only four successful plays out of those 12 (two completions and two pass interference penalties).
2. Aaron Glenn, Dallas Cowboys — Glenn is the Cowboys’ nickel back, so he doesn’t have as many passes thrown to him as Henry or Newman, but his 5.3 YPA indicates he might be the best nickel back in the league. Bill Parcells says he has so much faith in Glenn he believes there would be no drop-off if Glenn had to fill in for either Henry or Newman.
As a Cowboys fan, I was frustrated earlier in the season when these guys were giving up big plays. Still, as has been pointed out recently, recent rules changes have all but ended the days of the shut-down corner. And, certainly, the combination of Newman, Henry, and Glenn is one of the league’s best.
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