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Top 10 NFL Starting Cornerback Duos: Newman, Jenkins Rank Third

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A gigantic reason for the Cowboys’ defensive success in 2009 was the outstanding play of starting cornerbacks Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins.  We provided Newman with a “B+” overall grade and Jenkins with an “A-” overall grade, putting them at 10th and 8th on the team in our overall rankings, respectively.

Those who are into sports betting and the NFL seem to agree with that assessment, ranking the duo as the third-best in the league.  Only the Cincinnati Bengals (Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph) and New York Jets (Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie) were rated ahead of the Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys Times Starting Cornerback Duo Rankings

10.  New England Patriots: Leigh Bodden, Darius Butler

Bodden has played remarkably well in New England after a mediocre stint in Detroit.  Butler will likely be thrust into the starting lineup in 2010.

9.  Atlanta Falcons: Dunta Robinson, Brent Grimes

Houston was unwilling to dish out big-time money to Robinson, so he fled to Atlanta.  He takes a lot of chances but is capable of making big plays.

8.  Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr

Flowers and Carr probably wouldn’t be on the lists of many others, but they are the most underrated cornerback duo in the NFL.  Flowers in particular is already one of the league’s best.

7.  Miami Dolphins: Vontae Davis, Sean Smith

Rookie cornerbacks tend to struggle, but not this duo.  Davis and Smith played incredibly in their rookie seasons and should improve in 2010.

6.  New York Jets:  Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie

Revis Christ all the way down at No. 6?  Yes, but it has nothing to do with him.  We think he is the league’s second-best cornerback (No. 1 is a little higher on the list), but Cromartie may be the NFL’s most overrated player.  He gambles too often and misses way too many tackles.

5.  Green Bay Packers: Charles Woodson, Al Harris

Harris is getting a little long in the tooth, but he and Woodson make up the league’s best tackling cornerback duo (by far).

4.  New Orleans Saints: Jabari Greer, Tracy Porter

Porter gained notoriety for his game-breaking Super Bowl interception, but Greer is the reason this tandem is rated so high.  Greer allowed just a 46.9% completion rate–4th in the NFL–and may just be a top five NFL cornerback.

3.  Dallas Cowboys:  Terence Newman, Mike Jenkins

We talked about Newman and Jenkins above, and Cowboys fans know how important they are to the team.

2.  Oakland Raiders: Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Johnson

The Raiders are at No. 2 because Asomugha is that good.  Revis is the popular pick among fan’s as the NFL’s top cornerback, but league insiders will tell you Asomugha is better.  The stats don’t lie.  The most telling statistic of all. . .Revis got thrown at 111 times in 2009–third most in the NFL.  Asomugha?  28 times.

1.  Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Joseph, Leon Hall

Joseph and Hall are both Pro Bowl-caliber players with lockdown coverage ability and excellent run support skills to boot.

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15 Responses to Top 10 NFL Starting Cornerback Duos: Newman, Jenkins Rank Third

  1. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Man, I disagree a LOT with this.

    Cromartie is overrated but I don’t think he’s worse than Chris Johnson.

    Also, I think Greer and Porter are overrated here because of the benefit they shared by having good safeties. Put them on an island as often as Revis was and you’d probably see a big difference in their stats.

    It may too early to mention this year rookies but watch out for the Jets and their draft pick Kyle Wilson (Boise State). He was known for his excellent cover skills and press coverage and w/ the scheme the Jets use w/ their secondary . . . the Jets should be an excellent pass coverage team.

    Next year, I wonder they’ll rank on this list.

  2. I don’t think Cromartie is worse than CJ either, but I do think Asomugha is better than Revis (and by a solid margin). Revis makes more plays because he is tested more, but Asomugha shuts down an entire side of the field.

    Asomugha also doesn’t have the pass-rush of the Jets.

    I agree 100% with you on K. Wilson though. If you go back in our archives, you will see he is a guy I loved.

  3. Martin Long says:

    Yes, Asomugha was thrown at less, and was, up until last season, hands down, the best cornerback in the league. But after going over some of his tape from last season, I realized that Asomugha can be beaten on an almost consistent basis by elite receivers; it was just that quarterbacks were not looking the receivers way. The notoriety of Asomugha is what kept the targets low for him, not necessarily his play. I am in now way bashing Asomugha, I believe his is a great cornerback, just not the best.
    Revis is a machine on the field. He has perfect technique, smarts, knows how to tackle, but most of all, it’s the way he studies opposing offenses and picks up little things that other plays don’t, like a certain thing a receiver may do before they run a certain route that make him the best. He knows the game, and he knows how to play the game. That is why he is the leagues best cornerback.

  4. I think Asomugha is at the point where he can allow WRs to look open. Why not let them open if you are never getting thrown at? He can play off of his man and at least try to jump other routes if the QB won’t even look his way. Not getting thrown at is the biggest sign of respect from opposing DCs. We will see what Revis’ target # looks like this season.

  5. Martin Long says:

    He didn’t let the receivers get open. Why would he? That’s taking a huge risk. The Raiders play mostly a cover 1 defense, so it’s not like he can just look for work somewhere else and not be noticed. Both Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson got the better of him on several occassions last season. I also believe that from the tape I’ve gone over, he was targeted more than 28 times. Pro Football Focus’ stats have been known to be inaccurate.

  6. It isn’t that big of a risk if the QB never looks your way. And I’m not saying he let them open, but rather appear open. I’m not taking anything away from Revis–he is amazing. Both CBs are also excellent in run support. 2010 will be a telling season.

  7. SB says:

    Actually I believe league insiders will tell you that Revis is better than Asomugha. There is a reason Revis was thrown at so many more times. The Jets rolled their blitzes and coverage to make teams throw at Revis. Please check your facts.

  8. Just checked my facts, and rolled coverages don’t account for the tremendous attempt disparity.

  9. Marco Grenko says:

    Hey there, I have to say, what a great website you have, I stumbled across it in AOL. I’ll definitely be stopping by frequently and I’ve already added you to my RSS feeds.

  10. Jim says:

    This is garbage. Revis is better than Asomugha. Revis is tested so many times because of Rex Ryan’s schemes, he covers the best WR on the field whether he lines up on the left or right side of the field. Asomugha lines up on one side of the field the entire game it’s easy to not throw to him. Also, Revis shuts down the best WRs in the league on a consistent basis (Moss 2X, A. Johnson, Roddy White, M. Colston). It’s not even close, Revis and Cromartie are number one on everyone’s list. Someone following the AFC West must’ve written this article.

  11. Lol…thanks for the input Jim.

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  14. Mads Boje says:

    Where do you guys check up your CB stats?

    And btw. nice to see Greer and Porter @ # 4. Greer is such a solid CB. Wasn’t many TDs the duo let the other teams get last season. Unfortunately both is out with injuries atm…

  15. Mads–I got the CB stats from Pro Football Focus, although the Cowboys’ stats I tallied myself. And I love Greer—one of the most underrated players in the NFL.

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