3 Dallas Cowboys storylines to watch in 2019
By Richard Ball
Who will earn plays at safety?
The Cowboys roster is stacked at most positions. Offensive line, defensive line, wide receivers and linebackers are position groups that the Cowboys will cut players that will be claimed by or hopefully traded to other teams.
In fact, Chris Wesseling from NFL.com ranked the seven deepest position groups in the NFL and included two from the Cowboys: linebackers as the third deepest and offensive line as the fourth deepest. Bucky Brooks from NFL.com ranked the Cowboys trio of defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch as the second best defensive trio in the NFL behind the Chargers group of defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and safety Derwin James.
While many position groups are talent laden – safety is one position where the Cowboys seem content to go with the “by committee” approach and let the best man win. The front office seems all in on third year safety Xavier Woods who is likely the reason they didn’t pursue big name free agents or use early draft picks on the position.
The depth chart will be filled out by my colleague Robert H. Carroll’s favorite future Hall of Famer Jeff Heath, bargain bin free agent George Iloka, fourth year player Kavon Frazier, late round 2019 draft pick Donovan Wilson and core special teams player Darian Thompson.
Former quarterback Tony Romo spoke about football being a meritocracy in his November 2016 press conference resigning himself to never be a starting quarterback in the NFL again. Who from this group will separate themselves and earn their place in the starting secondary?
Albert Einstein is often credited with saying doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. The quote is mis-attributed to him as the earliest known appearance is the “approval version” of the Narcotics Anonymous ”Basic Text” released in November 1981.
Either way, expecting Jeff Heath to improve his performance is likely the 2019 version of insanity for the Dallas Cowboys. I am hoping that George Iloka has a career renaissance and allows the Cowboys to shore up their defensive backend.