Cowboys land Igbinoghene from Dolphins for Joseph in CB swap

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins have swapped cornerbacks who could be in need of fresh starts.

The Dolphins sent 2020 first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene to the Cowboys for 2021 second-round pick Kelvin Joseph as teams prepared their initial 53-man rosters Tuesday afternoon, the teams announced.

"Liked him coming out; I do recall his kickoff return ability too, vertical speed," Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said of Igbinoghene. "But he's more outside [corner] than inside, and that was part of the interest, part of the reason why we had the interest. You see him lining up against top receivers; I was impressed with his video. And I think he's a really good addition for us."

Igbinoghene started just five of 32 games in his time with Miami, intercepting one pass. Joseph had just three starts in 26 games with the Cowboys with no interceptions. Igbinoghene is set to make $2.144 million in the final year of his rookie deal, while Joseph is set to make $1.367 million and is signed through next year. Igbinoghene was inactive for 14 games the past two seasons, while Joseph was a core special teams player for the Cowboys, hardly what was expected when he was selected at No. 44 in the 2021 draft.

In 2022, Dallas police opted not to pursue charges against Joseph for his connection to a homicide in which he was a passenger in a car involved in a drive-by shooting. It wasn't until video was made public of the incident that Joseph met with Dallas police, which led to the arrest of two individuals. It is not clear whether Joseph could still face sanctions from the NFL under the personal conduct policy.

The Cowboys worked Joseph in the slot during the offseason and into training camp, but with sources saying the team plans to put cornerback Jourdan Lewis on the active roster. Lewis was on the active/physically unable to perform list with a Lisfranc injury suffered against the Detroit Lions last October that had him in a cast or boot for six months.

"Part of this, from his vantage point, is he has a chance in Miami to play inside," McCarthy said of Joseph. "He was a little further down the line there for us. Outstanding special teams, played inside and outside for us."

"I'm not the guy on the phone in trade conversations," McCarthy added. "But I do know there was interest from Miami because of his ability that he showed inside."

With Lewis out last year, the Cowboys turned to DaRon Bland in the slot, and he led the defense with five interceptions. Just because Lewis will be on the 53-man roster does not mean he will be ready for action Week 1 against the New York Giants. The plan is to ramp up his work in practice to see how his foot responds. Had he remained on the PUP list, he would have missed the first four games and been unable to practice. The Cowboys made a similar move last year with wide receiver Michael Gallup, who was coming off major knee surgery. He missed the first three games last year while still recovering.

Igbinoghene is the second first-rounder the Cowboys have acquired in the past week. They dealt a 2024 fourth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for quarterback Trey Lance, the No. 3 pick in the 2021 draft.

Appearing in 16 games as a rookie, mostly in place of injured cornerback Byron Jones, Igbinoghene was used sparingly over the next two seasons, appearing in 16 total games. His shining moment came in the 2022 season, when he recorded his first career interception -- which sealed a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The son of two Nigerian Olympic athletes, Igbinoghene converted from wide receiver to cornerback as a sophomore at Auburn.

ESPN staff writer Marcel Louis-Jacques contributed to this report.