Jeff Heath, Safety
There is no doubt that Jeff Heath paid his dues and deserved a chance to prove he could be more than just a special teams’ ace. That he could be a starting safety in this league. But just how long does this job interview last? All season?
Both Heath and safety Byron Jones struggled against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Their pairing was supposed to be one of the tandems you could rely on this Cowboys’ makeshift secondary. Dallas’ defense lost several key starters to free agency this offseason. But the presence of veterans Jones and Heath was supposed to ease that transition. Instead, it may become the team’s biggest liability.
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Both safeties struggled in coverage and to make tackles against the Broncos’ questionable offense. We saw signs off this in the Hall of Fame game, when Jones and Heath struggled to stop a Arizona Cardinals’ offense led by backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Now, that preseason nightmare has translated into a regular season reality.
Jones is a former first round selection who has proven himself to be a quality defender in the past. His status on the team is all but assured. The same can not be said about Heath. This is essentially a trial by fire for the fifth-year player. If Heath continues to struggle, the Cowboys will have to find a suitable replacement for him in that starting role.