INDIANAPOLIS — The Dallas Cowboys acquired cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the Indianapolis Colts for a fifth-round draft pick Tuesday.
The addition of the five-time Pro Bowler came on the same day Dallas brought back safety Donovan Wilson and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch as the Cowboys try to further bolster a defense that carried the club at times during a second consecutive playoff season in 2022.
The Cowboys will give the Colts a compensatory fifth-round pick in this year's draft.
Also on Tuesday, news broke that the Indianapolis Colts will release 37-year-old quarterback Matt Ryan in a cost-cutting move, according to multiple sources.
Cutting ties with Ryan before Wednesday means Indy clears about $17.2 million under the salary cap and opens free agency with roughly $30 million in cap space.
Ryan was traded by the rebuilding Atlanta Falcons to the Colts last March, but the combination didn't work out. The NFL's 2016 MVP endured the worst season of his career and was benched twice. Ryan has said he hopes to continue playing rather than retire.
For Gilmore, this will be the third team in three seasons for Gilmore, the 2019 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year when he was with New England.
The 32-year-old Gilmore played 16 games for the Colts last season, finishing with two interceptions and 11 pass breakups as a four-year Pro Bowl run ended.
The second of Gilmore's two All-Pro seasons was with the Patriots in 2019, when he led the NFL with 20 pass breakups and had six interceptions.
The trade pairs Gilmore with 2021 NFL interceptions leader Trevon Diggs, who had 11 of his 17 career picks that season. Diggs dropped off to three interceptions last year.
The addition of Gilmore could mean the end of Anthony Brown's career in Dallas. Brown's seventh season with the Cowboys ended in Week 13 when he tore an Achilles tendon against the Colts.
DaRon Bland, a 2022 fifth-round pick who had a strong rookie season, is back along with Jourdan Lewis, who was limited to six games last season because of a broken foot.
Gilmore was with four teams in his first 11 seasons, beginning with Buffalo as the 10th overall pick in 2012. He has 29 interceptions in 148 games and won a Super Bowl with the 2018 Patriots.