Dallas Cowboys: Can safety Derwin James change America’s Team?

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 02: Derwin James
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 02: Derwin James /

The Dallas Cowboys have a young and talented secondary core. Can Derwin James be the final piece for Dallas as a first round safety?

The 2018 NFL Draft, hosted at AT&T Stadium, is just 23 days away. The Dallas Cowboys have locked in a few free agents, and now it’s time to focus on the 19th overall pick.

The Cowboys are looking for a boost from their youthful secondary. Yes, Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods return with a year of experience. And, of course, Byron Jones is expected to head back to the cornerback spot as well.

But the hot topic around Big D is how deep this squad can go without an impact safety player. For years, the Dallas Cowboys have attacked without a hard-nose, smart and savvy safety.

Now that the cornerback spots are filled, it’s time to compliment the fountain of youth with a talented safety.

That player is Derwin James.

Well that’s the solution, but the problem is the Florida St. product might not fall to the 19th overall pick to begin with. Do the Cowboys stay put or do they jump up to grab the safety, who is only 21-years-old?

James has all the tools to start right away for Dallas. He would not be an experiment pick, and if selected, should have immediate responsibility. The Cowboys will have to decide if sacrificing picks for a player like James will be worth it.

To be fair, other teams above Dallas are probably thinking the same thing on this safety.

James, who turns 22 in August, has already established himself as a leader. The Cowboys have a strong, upcoming young defensive core. Someone like James may unify the defense and tailor an identity for years to come.

In three seasons at Florida State, Derwin earned 186 total tackles, 15 of them for a loss. He finished his college career with 5.5 sacks, three interceptions and 15 passes defended. He played in 26 games, which may scare teams. Along with his defensive duties, the safety also dabbled in return duties too.

In addition to his blitzing duties a Florida State, James would be a welcome addition to attack the run. The young safety has the build of a safety, but the relentlessness of linebacker to get after the ball, which is something the Cowboys sorely miss.

Does his high-motor attitude fit with any of the coaches on staff?

You bet. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli would have a terrific 16-week plan for the young gun. On top of that, the projected first rounder is expected to improve over the years, which means a team buying into this guy will get a major return of investment down the road.

Next: Cowboys Post-Free Agency 7-round mock draft

The question is: Will Derwin James fall? And if not, do the Dallas Cowboys dare to jump up to get him?