3 Cowboys players who cannot afford to regress in 2023

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3. Jayron Kearse

When Jayron Kearse arrived in Dallas after playing a backup role for most of his career, most did not expect him to take over the secondary in a major way at safety. The Cowboys had struggled until 2021 to find a safety that could stick as fixture in their defense. Kearse proved to be worth the contract that season with career-best two interceptions and 101 tackles.

Alongside Malik Hooker and Donovan Wilson, Kearse has become a member of arguably one of the best safety rooms in the league. His nose for the football and hard-hitting ability make him an ideal player for Dan Quinn's defense unit that lives on takeaways.

After his one-year contract was up at the end of the 2021 season, Kearse re-signed with Dallas for two more seasons. 2023 could be his last year in Dallas if he lets up at all. The Cowboys re-signed Wilson to a three-year contract when he hit free agency, guaranteeing them to keep at least one of the three for a few more years. Hooker is entering the final year of his deal, meaning Dallas could be looking for new free safety in 2024.

Having two really good strong safeties is not bad at all, but for Kearse, he cannot afford to let up. Wilson has not seen the field as much as Kearse, but the fact Dallas showed loyalty to him with a three-year deal says something.

Kearse may even be looking to use that contract as motivation to keep a hold on his starting job. If he proves his worth again in 2023, he could be sticking in Dallas for a little while longer.

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