Cowboys Rumors: Xavier Rhodes Signs Practice Squad Contract After Bills Release

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 7, 2023

Buffalo Bills cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
AP Photo/Duane Burleson

The Dallas Cowboys have signed cornerback Xavier Rhodes to their practice squad, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Rhodes is in his 10th season in the league. He spent his first seven seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, where he made three Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team.

The Vikings released Rhodes after the 2019 season, and he proceeded to sign a pair of one-year deals with the Indianapolis Colts for 2020 and 2021.

The Buffalo Bills signed Rhodes to their practice squad in September. He got a call-up to the active roster and played two games (one start), making four tackles in the process.

Buffalo waived Rhodes on Wednesday, allowing Dallas to make the move.

The Bills' release of Rhodes was made in conjunction with the team signing safety Jared Mayden to the active roster after safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during the team's Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin is awake and recovering at UC Medical Center.

Buffalo placed Hamlin on injured reserve and needed more depth at the position, especially with Micah Hyde out nearly all season with a neck injury.

Rhodes had been inactive for the since-canceled Bengals game and just appeared to be the odd defensive back out.

He was one of the best cornerbacks in all of football during his Vikings tenure, to the point where he earned the "Rhodes Closed" moniker.

Numerous reporters and analysts posited why the Cowboys, who are headed to the playoffs and have an outside shot at the NFC's No. 1 seed, decided to make the move.

Kyle Youmans @Kyle_Youmans

If there was a veteran CB worth bringing in, it was Xavier Rhodes. 32-year-old, multi-Pro Bowler, with a chance at some CB depth. <br><br>Don't expect any immediate impact on the field, but like T.Y. Hilton, could play a valuable role in the room and possibly in action down the road.

David Howman @_DH44_

- Anthony Barr <br>- Malik Jefferson<br>- Mackensie Alexander<br>- Trayvon Mullen<br>- and now Xavier Rhodes<br><br>So many defenders Dallas has added this year with either direct or tangential connections to George Edwards. Likely speaks volumes about who they trust to replace Dan Quinn.

Michael Gehlken @GehlkenNFL

Cowboys are signing three-time Pro Bowl CB Xavier Rhodes to practice squad, a person familiar with move said. Another experienced option at cornerback, where two starters (Anthony Brown and nickel Jourdan Lewis) have been lost for year. Rhodes has made 127 career starts.

At minimum, having a solid veteran in Rhodes as depth and insurance puts the Cowboys in a more comfortable spot at the position as the team closes the regular season Sunday versus the Washington Commanders.