Cardinals: Cromartie excelling across from Peterson
After striking free agency gold by signing Karlos Dansby in 2013, Arizona Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim appears to have done it again. This time it’s cornerback Antonio Cromartie who is following Dansby’s example by outperforming his one year “prove it” deal.
While Patrick Peterson headlines the Cardinals secondary, he has been below his best for much of the season, allowing six touchdowns and committing a league-high 11 penalties on his way to a -6.8 coverage grade. Meanwhile Cromartie, who struggled through a hip injury in 2013 (-11.4 overall), has quietly had a very strong year across from him. Cromartie’s +8.8 coverage grade ranks fourth at the position, while he ranks second out of 73 corners with 15.8 Cover Snaps per Reception.
Cromartie has allowed just 20 receptions and two touchdowns on 48 targets. Numbers that are somewhat inflated from one very disappointing performance in Denver Week 5, when he allowed seven catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas aside, no other quarterback and receiver combination has enjoyed success in Cromartie’s coverage.
Cromartie is set to be a free agent again this off-season, and he must hope that he can cash in on his stellar season, much as Dansby did with the Browns after starring for the Cardinals in 2013.