Early on, I projected sixth round selection Xavier Woods to overtake Jeff Heath as the Cowboys’ starting safety. And that was in part due to the fact of how well Woods seemed to be playing in limited snaps, and how bad Heath was as a starter.
Those dynamics have changed a bit as we hit the midpoint of the season. Heath is coming off arguably his best game of the year, getting a game-sealing interception off of Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith, who hadn’t thrown a pick all year.
As for Woods, his trajectory has leveled off now as the flaws of being a rookie in the NFL have begun to show a little more. I still believe Woods has what it takes to become a solid contributor for this Cowboys squad this season. And in spot duty, he has been. But he’s also proven he’s not quite ready to compete for Heath’s job.
But the fact Woods was even in the conversation as a sixth rounder out of Louisiana Tech should tell you the value Dallas received when they traded up in the draft to pick him up. Like many other rookies on the roster, Woods is still green and needs some seasoning. But undoubtedly, the Cowboys got themselves a steal when they grabbed this kid.
Through eight games, Xavier Woods has 14 combined tackles and two pass defends.