Redemption. That is what safety Jeff Heath is looking for this season. During his rookie year, Detroit Lions’ former wide receiver Calvin Johnson tuned up to undrafted Heath in his first professional start to the tune of 14 receptions for 329 yards and a touchdown.
Of course, it was veteran cornerback Brandon Carr going one-on-one with the 6-foot-5, 236 pound phenom for most of those catches. But some fans simply remember Johnson soaring over Heath for a leaping reception that really put an exclamation point on the performance.
Much like the time New York Giants’ receiver Odell Beckham made that career-defining one-handed catch over Carr in 2014, everyone remembers that play and forgets the fact the Cowboys actually won the game.
In that same way, Heath was remembered for his poor play in his first year and labeled a bit of a defensive liability ever since. He started nine games as a rookie in 2013. The now 26-year old safety is entering his fifth season with the Cowboys and has started in just one contest since.
Mainly a special teams ace, Heath will now start at safety for the Cowboys. And if his three tackle, one sack, one interception performance against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs was any indication, he’s ready for the role.
Jeff Heath undoubtedly has a lot to prove this season. Mainly, that he can be a starting safety in the league. Because if he falters, Dallas has Kavon Frazier and rookie Xavier Woods waiting in the wings.