5 Cowboys who need to hit the ground running at camp

Dallas Cowboys, Trysten Hill (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys, Trysten Hill (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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Damontae Kazee, Dallas Cowboys
Damontae Kazee #27 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Damontae Kazee, S

Despite coming off a major injury that limited him to just four games in 2020, the Cowboys have all but anointed free-agent signee Damontae Kazee to be the team’s savior at safety. And while the 28-year old put up a surprising performance during OTAs, that trend must continue at camp if he is going to lift this traditionally underinvested in position to new heights this season.

A former fifth-round selection back in 2017, Kazee has something to prove as well. It’s been three years since he led the NFL with seven interceptions as a safety. But he did so under Quinn’s leadership, so his comfort within this new scheme should give the defender an edge over others this summer.

Still, relying heavily on a veteran coming off a season-ending Achilles injury and expecting him to play at a high level on a brand new team is asking a lot. But if Kazee can have a strong start to camp and appears to be 100% healthy, that should help dissuade fears about the position heading into the regular season.

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The fact is, without Kazee, the safety position in Dallas is up in the air. There’s certainly hope that third-year safety Donovan Wilson can take another step in his development as a starter this season. The depth chart at safety also includes Jayron Kearse, Steven Parker, and Darian Thompson. There are also two rookies to consider in Tyler Coyle and Israel Mukuamu.

If Kazee struggles in training camp, expect the Cowboys to bring in more competition at safety in an effort to find ways to upgrade this position. A potential free agent to watch is Malik Hooker, whom the Cowboys have already had a visit with earlier this offseason.