When did Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie become the most important Cardinal?

Jul 27, 2011, 7:43 PM | Updated: 9:09 pm

When exactly did Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie become the most important player on the Arizona Cardinals defense?

That’s the feeling I’m getting from a lot of fans now that DRC’s name has been thrown around in trade talks more often than quarterbacks threw to the receivers he was guarding last season.

Thanks to the Kevin Kolb trade rumors I feel like I’m watching the trailer for the new Jason Bateman-Ryan Reynolds body switch comedy the Change-Up (if you haven’t seen it think Freaky Friday or any of the other movies where one morning a major character wakes up in another character’s body). Somehow one night Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie went to bed as a borderline good cornerback in the NFL and woke up the next morning as the most important piece on the Cardinals defense. The question is why?

The fans praising DRC’s skills and lamenting over possibly losing him are probably the same ones who were blasting him for having the worst broken tackle rate (18.9%) of any defensive back in the NFL.

Yes, DRC was a Pro Bowler in 2009 and has a huge amount of talent. He also took a huge step back in 2010 and opposing quarterbacks had a field day throwing against him. He has the potential to be a great defensive back. But that’s the problem, it’s just potential. His concentration and desire have been questioned by numerous people and it’s not clear he’ll ever reach that potential.

It’s understandable that fans are questioning how much is too much to give up to acquire Kolb. What isn’t understandable is why they’re overvaluing Rodgers-Cromartie for no real reason other than the fact that they’ve seen him play more often than the Eagles signal caller. It boils down to trading potential for potential at this point. Is DRC more proven, yes, but his flaws have also been blatantly exposed.

The bottom line is, to land a quarterback that is viewed by most around the league as one of the top available you have to give up something in return. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no one has ever referred to the NFL as a ‘cornerbacks’ league’ and that’s why you take a chance on dealing Rodgers-Cromartie for Kolb. In the end it’s much more valuable for the Cardinals if Kolb reaches his potential than DRC.

DRC isn’t even the defensive player with the most potential in Arizona, let alone the best. Giving him up for Kolb isn’t the Cardinals overpaying. It’s a calculated gamble. Adding in a first or second round pick on top of that? Well now that’s a different story.

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When did Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie become the most important Cardinal?