Cowboys Draft Prospect: A Safe Pick with Clinton-Dix

Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back HaHa Clinton-Dix.

Defense is a priority for the Cowboys this season. After an abysmal performance in 2013, Jason Garrett is expected to focus this offseason on the defense. One position that could use a new face is safety. Barry Church played exceptionally at safety, but there is a huge question on who will play across from him. J.J. Wilcox and Jeff Heath both got some playing time across from Church, but they are not guaranteed to be started next year. While safety may not be as big of a priority as defensive tackle or defensive end, it is still a position we should thoroughly look at.

Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is the best safety in this year’s draft. Currently he is expected to go around the 10-20 range, so he is a prospect that the Cowboys could realistically pick. Ha Ha fits a need and would provide good value at that point of the draft.

Let’s go over his strength. He has good size for a safety at 6 ft 1. He has long arms, which is what makes him so effective at attacking the ball. One of my favourite things about Ha Ha is his coverage ability. He does a fine job in covering man on man coverage.  From what I’ve seen, he is often covering tight ends and slot receivers with no help.  In deep zone coverage, Ha Ha has shown a lot of range and is quick to get to the ball. You see a lot of safeties play in the box and focus their game on stopping the run and making big hits. It’s nice to see a safety that’s actually more specialized in coverage, rather than an undersized linebacker labeled as a safety. Ha Ha should translate well as a starting NFL safety.

Ha Ha does have his fair share of weaknesses as well. I like how he gets low for tackles, but he needs to work on wrapping up on his tackles. Ha Ha could use a bit more strength. He weighs in at 208 lb, but he has a long frame and can actually bulk up a bit more.

Ha Ha has all the physical ability to be a good safety in the NFL. He has the potential to be an incredible super star with some good coaching. He has pass coverage skills that most teams can use on their defense. His weaknesses can be fixed with some focus during the offseason. As a result to that, Ha Ha has a high floor and is a safe pick in this draft. If no defensive tackles are available for the Cowboys in the first round, Ha Ha will be a great pick for them.

Topics: Cowboys, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, NFL Draft

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  • Jimmy DeMarco

    I’m not one for drafting S early this year.
    I’d much rather see us draft Ealy, Donald or Hageman, whichever one falls to us.

    • Kerrie Wong

      I agree. Defensive line should definitely be a priority for this draft. However if Hageman, Nix, Jernigan, and Ealy gets picked ahead of us, then I think there’s value in picking Clinton Dix. Albeit that’s the worst case scenario, and it’s very unlikely to happen. I’ll definitely be looking at a few more defensive linemen. There are some good first round talent that Marinelli can develop.

      • Jimmy DeMarco

        Weird thing is, I think Pryor may be a better all around fit than Dix. And he seems to be rising on a lot of mock drafts lately.
        But, I do think Dix is the most realistic of the 2. Especially considering that he’s being touted as a can’t miss & clearly the best safety in the draft. So if he doesn’t pan out, it’s on him, not Jerry for drafting him. But if we don’t draft him & he turns out to be the guy he’s projected to be, it’ll just be another dagger for us Cowboy fans to throw at Jerry.

      • Jimmy DeMarco

        I keep having this recurring nightmare that Jerry is going to disregard defense and go offense again. I see him either drafting Evans if he’s still there when we draft or trading down again like last year and drafting a G. Then taking a WR and S with our 2 second round picks.
        It’s truly a scary thought. Especially knowing how badly we need help all over our defense.
        I did say safety with one of our second round picks. But I can easily see him not taking a DL or DE until the 3rd round.

        • Scott.

          If he does that I will never watch them again. Period

          • Jimmy DeMarco

            Lol. You, me & about a million other fans.
            Let’s just hope it’s just a nightmare, and doesn’t become a reality.

  • Chesney Blair

    Please don’t do this. We have a dl strong coach who is our defensive coach. I say let him call the shots for the fist three rounds. This is like drafting a TE in the second round when you already have hof te. People are missing this but the Cowboys will draft a WR in the first round. Be prepared to be surprised.

  • will hall

    We need to go safety, we have been getting killed on the three step drops. Qb’s are not letting our d line get to them. They are throwing a lot of underneath stuff, or quick outs, which is smart on their part. Not to compare Seattle’s Db’s with anyone else’s, but that secondary is scary good. If we can force other qb’s to take an extra seconds or two throwing the ball, that may give or line the time we need to get that sack. A big hitting safety will make those crossing patterns a little interesting.

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