- Starters: Byron Jones, Jeff Heath
- Rotation: Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier
- Key losses: Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox
Jones returns for his second stint as a full time starting safety. He’s very capable but seems to be suffering some now paired with a much inferior starter.
Which brings me to the player I’ve repeated the same criticisms of for years. The painful truth is Jeff Heath is not a quality starting caliber NFL safety.
Yes, the guy has a knack for big plays which is valuable and praise worthy in limited snap counts. To Heath’s credit, he’s also a special teams stud.
But if the plan is to give him the vast majority of safety snaps, the coming consequences of stubborn ignorance will soon be undeniable.
I watched Heath very closely in camp practice and in preseason games. I honestly wanted to be proven wrong as many side with wishful thinking.
Sorry but he’s the same player with glaring limitations who started in 2013.
There’s a reason he was demoted to fourth in line and told to focus on special teams the last three seasons. His speed is fine but his play recognition is lacking and slow.
This causes him to be out of position often and take poor recovery angles. Which is exactly what this preseason confirmed while often allowing unnecessary yards.
Woods showed much promise in camp before an injury derailed his takeover. Thankfully the rookie is back in practice and making plays again.
It’s crucial Dallas wises up and rotates Heath generously with Woods. Thus allowing the veteran to show well in limited snaps and continue his special teams prowess.
Heath is bringing Jones down a tad because he’s a sizable drop-off from Church. As it stands now the safety position is likely the biggest downgrade on defense.
The only reason Carroll will hurt more than Heath is the consequences are far greater at corner when a player is overmatched.
Dallas can get by starting one inferior player in the secondary. But continued dependence on both for heavy snaps is asking for a 9-7 death sentence.