Do the Dallas Cowboys still need to pursue a starting safety?
The Dallas Cowboys entered the offseason with a definite need at the safety position. After adding to that group via the draft and free agency, do they need more?
The Dallas Cowboys entered this past offseason with what seemed like a hole in their safety unit. After courting with former Seattle Seahawk and current Baltimore Raven Earl Thomas for the last few seasons, that obviously didn’t work out in the Cowboys’ favor.
Well, that didn’t stop Dallas from improving the position as they went out and signed a veteran, along with adding a rookie from the draft to help fill the void. The question that still remains though, is that enough?
We here at The Landry Hat pondered upon that notion within the last few days as the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Cowboys are still in the mix for free agent safety Eric Berry. The conclusion that was arrived at is that Dallas would be fine to stand pat unless Berry was willing to accept a very team-friendly deal, which sort of answers the question. To be clear, the Cowboys shouldn’t still be in the market for safety help and here’s why.
When thinking about what was already there at safety for the Cowboys, it wasn’t as bad as most like to make it out to be last season. Although Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods, the starters at the position last season for the Cowboys, were ranked 81 and 46 respectively among safeties, they performed decently enough there last season to warrant giving them the opportunities to do it again this season.
This isn’t just an eye test score either, and although the total defense is taken into account for this metric, the passing defense ranked in the top half of the league last season. While they ranked number 13 overall, they gave up the third shortest passing touchdown last season at 53 yards. Long passes and long touchdown passes are generally a direct reflection on safety play, as they are generally considered the last line of defense, or the safety valves.
On top of what was already in place for the Cowboys, they added a pretty good veteran in free agency this offseason. Ranked as a top 10 free agent safety that was available in free agency by Pro Football Focus, Dallas brought in former Minnesota Viking and Cincinnati Bengal George Iloka. Iloka will definitely help this group and that’s only if he doesn’t rise up and become one of the leaders.
Even outside of free agency, the Cowboys brought in a young safety via the draft. Sixth rounder Donovan Wilson out of Texas A&M was described by NFL.com as a hard-hitting safety with surprising coverage skills. His presence could push backup Kavon Frazier for a spot on the final 53.
With these three elements in place, it isn’t a necessity to add another player to the room. If the Dallas Cowboys choose to go out and pick up a guy for depth or take on a guy such as Eric Berry simply due to not being able to pass up on a crazy value, that would be one thing. But there isn’t a need to make brash moves. That’s why the Cowboys shouldn’t be actively in the mix for another safety.