Dallas Cowboys: This Hall of Famer has secondary concerns

Anthony Brown, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Anthony Brown, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

This former Dallas Cowboys executive has concerns about the team’s secondary going into 2020.

One of the biggest areas of concern on the Dallas Cowboys‘ roster entering the 2020 regular season will be the secondary. The Cowboys lost two starters out of this positional group in the offseason with cornerback Byron Jones and safety Jeff Heath signing elsewhere in free agency.

Tied for dead last in the NFL in interceptions last season with seven, things needed to change in the Cowboys’ secondary. And they did. New head coach Mike McCarthy hired new defensive back coaches in Maurice Linguist and former two-time Pro Bowler, Al Harris.

Dallas would also re-sign cornerbacks Anthony Brown and C.J. Goodwin as well as safety Darian Thompson this offseason. The Cowboys welcomed free-agent veterans in safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, defensive back Daryl Worley, and cornerback Maurice Canady as well.

During the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cowboys used their second-round selection on Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs. Dallas would also use their first of two fourth-round picks on Tulsa defensive back Reggie Robinson II.

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According to the Cowboys’ roster on the team’s official website, Dallas has a total of 16 players currently populating their cornerback and safety positions. And while there are plenty of candidates to occupy the voids left by Byron Jones and Jeff Heath, who will earn those roles and what changes the new coaching staff will implement is unclear.

Gil Brandt believes the Dallas Cowboys have some big roster holes

Here’s what former Cowboys executive and Hall of Famer Gil Brandt wrote about the team’s status at the cornerback position after ranking the secondary in Dallas fourth in his biggest roster holes rankings on NFL.com.

"“Corner is also unsettled, however, with no one standing out as an obvious No. 1 in the wake of Byron Jones’ departure to the Dolphins via free agency. … the Cowboys must get more turnovers on the back end after tying for last with Detroit and Arizona in interceptions (seven). The uncertainty in the secondary will only make it more critical for DeMarcus Lawrence — who logged just five sacks in 2019 — and the defensive front to generate pressure.”"

The best-case scenario for the Cowboys would be to have Diggs earn a starting role as a rookie. Although the presence of veterans like Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and Chidobe Awuzie give the Cowboys a safety net of experience at the position.

At safety, former first-rounder Clinton-Dix figures to slot in next to Woods as a starter. Although the idea of transitioning a cornerback to safety, someone like Awuzie, figures to also be a consideration.

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As Gil Brandt pointed out, the roles in the Dallas Cowboys’ secondary are currently unsettled. And those unknowns can breed apprehension about whether this group will be a liability and a possible obstacle to success in 2020. Those unknowns make this positional group one to watch very closely this summer.