Cowboys cover a 'must' by adding Nolan Carroll at cornerback

FRISCO, Texas -- A year ago, the Dallas Cowboys thought about signing Nolan Carroll and had him visit, but they opted to pass due to concerns over an ankle injury.

Carroll re-signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, started every game, intercepted one pass and had 10 pass deflections.

On Friday, Carroll agreed to a three-year deal with the Cowboys, remaining in the NFC East and covering Dallas at cornerback, with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne testing the free-agent market.

Terms: Three years, $10 million.

ESPN 150 ranking: No. 111

Grade: B Factoring need and price, it is hard to quibble with the deal. Teams can never have enough corners, and the Cowboys did not want to test that theory without covering themselves a little bit more. The addition of Carroll does not take them out of the corner market in the draft, but it will allow them to set up their draft board more purely and not push position needs up the must-have list.

What it means: The Cowboys could not go without addressing the position through free agency in some fashion, and they found a corner familiar with the NFC East and coming off a season in which he started every game for the first time in his career. Carroll has eight career interceptions. He had 20 pass breakups in the past two seasons. That means teams will take chances on him, as evidenced by the pass interference Dez Bryant drew on him in Week 17 last season and Terrance Williams' touchdown catch on Tony Romo's lone drive in 2016. While it doesn’t close the door on Carr or Claiborne returning, it does allow the Cowboys to hold firm on their prices. Claiborne has drawn some interest from the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills, but his injury history should keep his payday down. Carr has never missed a game in his career, but he turns 31 in May, so that could affect his price.

What's the risk? As much as Carroll played all of last season, the Cowboys had durability concerns about him, so there is some risk-taking here. But with only Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown on the roster having played meaningful snaps, the Cowboys had to gamble somewhat. It is not a huge financial commitment, and Carroll’s knowledge of the division is a good thing. He also has some scheme versatility as he enters his eighth season in the NFL.