Welcome to the final installment of a Landry Hat exclusive where we break down the Dallas Cowboys position by position, previewing which players may make the roster for the 2014 season. The last two previews have focused on the defensive side of the ball, first with the defensive line and recently looking at the options Dallas has at linebacker. Today it’s time to finish the positional breakdowns by previewing what Dallas has to work with at the defensive back position. As a reminder of the positional preview process, I will make one bold prediction about the position, describe what the team needs from each player, offer my guess as to who makes the final fifty-three man cut and rank where each starter ranks in comparison to others at his position across the entire NFL.
Here’s all you need to know about the Cowboys and their issues in the secondary. Two years ago, Dallas signed Brandon Carr to a $50 million deal and traded their first round pick (#14 overall) and second round pick (#39 overall) to acquire rookie Morris Claiborne with the sixth pick in the draft. Going into free agency this year, Claiborne is not starting and there was serious consideration about eating the rest of the money on Carr’s deal. Meanwhile, all the hope of a young draft pick making something of himself has shifted to J.J. Wilcox and the two most steady players in this entire unit are an undrafted free agent (Church) and a fifth round choice (Scandrick) who has vacillated between overpaid annoyance and undervalued savior during his time in Big D. Going into camp, Scandrick will have to battle Claiborne to keep his starting spot but if the past is an accurate indicator, he will likely win. Carr, for all his ills, still has led the team in total interceptions the past two seasons with seven, making him a lock at the other corner spot. Wilcox will be given every possible opportunity to not only be the starter but keep the gig, since Dallas refused to look at veteran options or use a high draft pick to compete with him. All the while, Church looks to build on what was damn near a Pro-Bowl type season last year as he led the entire league in tackles for a safety and tied for second in turnovers produced with three forced fumbles and an interception.