For years, the Dallas Cowboys have had missed opportunity after opportunity to address one of their most glaring defensive needs. That being at the safety position.
Whether that be due to a lack of investment in both the NFL draft and free agency, a failed attempt to trade for Earl Thomas a few years back, to deciding to pass up Kansas City’s Juan Thornhill in favor of defensive tackle Trysten Hill with their top draft pick in 2019.
With Neal reportedly playing a more hybrid linebacker role, and both only being signed to one-year deals, there’s still an opportunity for Dallas to upgrade the safety position in this week’s draft. But will the Cowboys actually draft a safety high?
Apparently, Dallas is doing some notable work on one potential defensive back prospect. This tidbit about the Cowboys doing their due diligence on Washington cornerback Elijah Molden comes from 105.3 The Fan’s Jeff Cavanaugh via his YouTube channel on Sunday.
"“I’ve actually heard the Cowboys are doing work on Elijah Molden. A decent amount of work and that could be the Dan Quinn special … He would be like Damontae Kazee who Dan Quinn drafted as a cornerback out of college, made him a safety. And Elijah Molden can do that. You watch him play at Washignton when he’s playing in the slot, he’s playing like a saftey.”"
At 5-foot-10, 190-pounds, Molden is seemingly undersized to be an NFL safety candidate and would seem to slot better as a slot corner. Yet, the success of the 5-foot-9, 203-pound Antoine Winfield Jr., who was a second-round selection for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year, could open the door to the Cowboys being open to the possibility.
After all, Kazee isn’t much bigger than Molden at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. And he led the NFL in interceptions for safeties in 2018 with seven picks while also registering 82 total tackles.
Molden did play some single-high safety for the Huskies, but mainly covered the slot. The knocks on the young defensive back are mostly due to his lack of size and speed (a reported 4.58-second forty at his pro day), which could mean Molden better translates as a safety on the NFL level anyway.
As a junior in 2019, Elijah Molden posted his best season at Washington by far. He racked up 79 combined tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, and 12 pass deflections in 13 games. If the Dallas Cowboys are truly interested, expect Molden to be in play with their second-round selection, 44th overall.