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NFL Rumors: Stephon Gilmore surgery could benefit Cowboys in free agency

Going all-in during the 2023 offseason, Jerry and Stephen Jones made several savvy trades to really bolster the Dallas Cowboys roster. One of the headliners, without question, was landing former Defensive Player of the Year cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the Indianapolis Colts. And that actually turned out to be even more impactful than the organization could've imagined.

Gilmore was brought into the fold to be a high-end CB2 opposite of Trevon Diggs and form one of the better secondary tandems in the NFL. When Diggs suffered a freak torn ACL in practice, effectively ending his 2023 season, Gilmore was immediately elevated into the CB1 role that Diggs had previously occupied, which then allowed for the breakout of DaRon Bland, but also stabalized a unit that would've been decimated had the trade not been completed.

But now Gilmore is slated to hit free agency. Given how well he performed in Dallas this past year, most had believed that he would be an easy candidate to simply get replaced by way of the draft and for the Cowboys to have essentially only traded for a one-year rental of the veteran. That, however, could be changing.

ESPN's Todd Archer reported on Thursday that Gilmore underwent shoulder surgery after Dallas' loss in the Wild Card Round and has a 4-6 month recovery time from the injury.

Though he is set to be ready to rock for training camp, that recovery and injury could cause some trepidation on the free agency market. In turn, if the Cowboys want to invest draft capital elsewhere with Diggs and Bland already returning, it could make sense to see if they could Gilmore to return on a discounted rate coming off of this recovery and timetable.

Maybe that's not the case and the veteran is still a coveted commodity in free agency. But it is a wrinkle that does seem as if it could work in favor of the Cowboys if that's a direction that they want to explore.