Dallas Cowboys cornerback Rashard Robinson has been suspended by the NFL due to a policy infraction.
The league announced Tuesday that Robinson is suspended two 2021 regular-season games without pay for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Robinson remains eligible to participate in all offseason practices, training camp, and the expected four-game preseason.
His is the seventh such Cowboys ban in the last eight years — the most recent since 2019, when former defensive end Robert Quinn, after arriving via trade from the Miami Dolphins, was forced to sit out that season’s first two games for a similar PED violation.
Dallas has had at least one defender suspended to begin the season in 7 of the last 8 years
2014: Orlando Scandrick
2015: Greg Hardy, Rolando McClain
2016: DeMarcus Lawrence
2017: David Irving
2018: David Irving
2019: Robert Quinn
2021: Rashard Robinson https://t.co/d9aou7i3rk
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) April 20, 2021
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Background on Robinson
Not to be confused with 2020 fourth-round pick Reggie Robinson, Rashard originally was signed to Dallas’ practice squad in September following the elevation of CB Brandon Carr.
Robinson was promoted to the active roster in November and ended up appearing in four games for the Cowboys, making three starts as injuries and poor play decimated the secondary. He notched 20 tackles over 187 defensive snaps and allowed 13 completions on 16 targets.
Robinson (6-2, 177) was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. He spent two years with the 49ers (13 starts) and the last two with the New York Jets (two starts).
Altogether, the once-hyped LSU product — notorious for his history of non-football-related transgressions — has 42 professional games, 85 tackles (67 solo), 15 pass deflections, and two interceptions to his resume
This is the second time Cowboys CB Rashard Robinson has been suspended by the NFL. As a member of the Jets, Robinson was popped for four games for violating the substance abuse policy in 2018.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) April 20, 2021
“A lockdown man-coverage cornerback with big upside as a true junior entry, Rashard Robinson hasn’t been developed at LSU due to off-field issues,” his Bleacher Report scouting profile reads. “The team willing to gamble on him could strike gold, though, given his natural abilities and what he brings to the table with height, weight and speed.”
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Pink Slip Incoming?
Robinson, 25, already faced long odds of cracking the final 2021 squad. The Cowboys are extremely high on 2020 second-rounder Trevon Diggs, a hopeful defensive cornerstone, and invested significant money this offseason in Jourdan Lewis. The team also has Anthony Brown, CJ Goodwin, and Reggie Robinson, who’s being moved back to CB after spending his rookie campaign at safety.
Dallas is likely to use its top pick (No. 10 overall) in the upcoming draft on a corner such as Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II, whose father — former Miami Dolphins three-time Pro Bowl CB Patrick Surtain Sr. — dubbed his son a “perfect fit” for new coordinator Dan Quinn’s system.
“It’s the Seattle old defense,” Surtain Sr. said last week on ESPN Radio, via 247Sports. “I know the defensive coordinator, who was in Seattle when they had the Legion of Boom. So I think it’s a lot of misconceptions with that defense, about being a man-in-the-zone structure defense. I think, for the most part, when I watch, I saw Richard Sherman and those guys play man on the outside. Obviously, it’s changeup to play the Cover 3 with them bailing and everything. But with their physicality, with him and Diggs’ physicality, I can see some similarities between Sherman and those guys on the outside. But I saw them play a lot of press, press man and the offset was some Cover 3. So I think he can do it all, man. That’s why I think he’s highly coveted, because he’s an all-around corner. He can play man. He comes up and can tackle. He can play in the slot if need be. So I think he’ll be a perfect fit.”
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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL