Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Add CB Moore in Free Agency

The Bucs continue to add defensive depth through the open market, on Tuesday agreeing to terms with CB Sterling Moore, the third former Dallas Cowboy the team has signed in a week.

The Buccaneers agreed to terms with defensive back Sterling Moore on Thursday. Check out photos of his time with the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots (AP Images).

 

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So far, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' main use for free agency has been to shore up its defensive depth. And, perhaps coincidentally, the team has done the majority of its shopping in the "Former Dallas Cowboys" aisle.

On Thursday, the Buccaneers agreed to terms on a one-year deal with cornerback Sterling Moore, who spent the past two-and-a-half seasons playing in Dallas. Moore is the fourth unrestricted free agent Tampa Bay has attracted since the market opened last week; the team first signed linebacker Bruce Carter on March 11, then added defensive tackle Henry Melton and safety Chris Conte the next day. Like Moore, Carter and Melton were Cowboys before becoming free agents on March 10.

Thursday's signing adds depth to a position that can always use more of it. The Buccaneers gave at least 100 defensive snaps to six different cornerbacks last year, and that didn't include presumptive starter Mike Jenkins who suffered a season-ending injury in Game One. Moore, coming off his best season as pro, obviously provides some of that depth and will likely get an extended look as the potential "starter" at nickel back.

Moore played in all 16 games for Dallas last year and made a career high seven starts, stepping up after former first-round pick Morris Claiborne landed on injured reserve. Playing in a defense similar to the Buccaneers' current scheme, Moore made 39 tackles, batted down 13 passes, forced one fumble and recovered two. He graded out well in both pass coverage and run support on Pro Football Focus and finished the season as PFF's 22nd-ranked cornerback in the league.

The Buccaneers agreed to terms with defensive back Sterling Moore on Thursday. Check out photos of his time with the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots (AP Images).

Moore first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders in 2011, but he was plucked off the Raiders practice squad by the New England Patriots in November. New England plugged him in at safety, where he saw action in six games with three starts. His first big NFL outing came in the 2011 season finale, when he picked off two passes against Buffalo and returned one of them for a touchdown. However, he is best remembered in New England for the game-saving play he made in the AFC Championship Game that year, knocking the potential game-winning touchdown catch out of WR Lee Evans' hands.

Moore played half of the 2012 season for the Patriots before being moved to the New England practice squad. That gave the Cowboys a chance to sign him away several weeks later and get him on the field for five more contests. In all, Moore has played in 40 games with 10 starts and recorded 70 tackles, three interceptions, 22 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

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