The Dallas Cowboys released veteran safety Will Allen on Tuesday. This after the Cowboys defense gave up a near thousand total passing yards to two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks; the Denver Broncos Peyton Manning and the San Diego Chargers Phillip Rivers. Allen was the Cowboys starting safety at the beginning of the regular season. And now he’s being run out of town. And no one is saying why.
Is the answer as simple as Allen played terrible? The ten year veteran had the inside track on the starting safety role when he was signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys this off-season. Allen had played for current Dallas defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin in Tampa Bay as a rookie. Surely, he understood the new defensive scheme better than most. Allen was also coming off a strong year as a back-up for the Pittsburgh Steelers. All signs pointed to Dallas getting, at least, a solid back-up for the 2013 season. Yet five games into the new year, Allen is gone.
The emergence of rookie safety J.J. Wilcox obviously had something to do with it. Wilcox jumped over Allen on the depth chart two weeks ago. Still, Allen played a vital role in the defensive backfield, racking up 17 tackles so far this season. Behind Wilcox now are safeties Danny McCray and Jeff Heath. Both are mainly special team players. The team also have safeties Micah Pellerin and Jakar Hamilton on the practice squad. Either one of them could be called up to take that open roster spot.
Unfortunately, Allen appears to be Dallas latest scapegoat. His play might of deserved it, but I’m not sure the Cowboys have anyone better waiting in the wings. One thing is clear: This defense needs to figure out how to play the pass better soon. If not, this could be a very short coaching tenure for Monte Kiffin in Dallas. At some point, cutting your own players will not be enough.