Cowboys wisely show Jayron Kearse contract love after recent safety extensions

It was only fair that the Cowboys addressed Jayron Kearse's contract before the 2023 season.
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (27) celebrates a
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (27) celebrates a / Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have invested heavily in their defense since Dan Quinn became defensive coordinator. That continued this offseason when they inked safeties Donovan Wilson and Malik Hooker to three-year contracts, and cornerback Trevon Diggs to a near-$100 million extension.

Getting Wilson and Hooker signed means the Cowboys will continue to boast one of the most versatile safety groups in the NFL. Once those deals were signed, though, fans couldn't help but wonder what it meant for Jayron Kearse's future.

A free agent after the 2023 season, Kearse is arguably the most important of Dallas' three-headed monster in the defensive backfield. He's a natural leader and one of a handful of tone-setters on Quinn's loaded defense.

In the aftermath of Wilson and Hooker's deals, the Cowboys made a wise business decision to extend Kearse some love on the contract front by guaranteeing his $4 million base salary for the 2023 season, per ESPN's Todd Archer.

Cowboys guarantee Jayron Kearse's 2023 salary after recent safety extensions

Have the Cowboys put a foot wrong this offseason? Mind you, this comes after Dallas secured an agreement with Zack Martin on a reworked contract -- a team-friendly one at that -- to end the All-Pro guard's training camp holdout.

With the Cowboys needing to preserve resources for extensions for CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons, they need to be diligent with their cap savings.

Might Kearse become a victim of the team's loaded roster? Perhaps, but it's also possible the front office revisits signing Kearse to an extension down the road or simply re-signs him after the season. Whatever the case, this move should keep Quinn's Swiss-Army knife happy until negotiations begin or resume.

Known by Cowboys fans as the "tight end eraser," Kearse was used in a variety of roles last season and thrived despite playing through injury. He finished third on the team with 77 tackles despite missing three games and added seven tackles for loss, two sacks, five passes defended and 27 run stops, per Pro Football Focus.

In 2021, Kearse placed first on Dallas' defense with 101 tackles, second with nine tackles for loss, and fourth with 10 passes defended. Following that performance, the Cowboys saw to it that Kearse wouldn't leave in free agency and signed him to a two-year, $10 million contract that offseason.

Like Wilson and Hooker, Kearse has outperformed his contract so it was only right that the team guaranteed his 2023 salary.

Hopefully, this is a stepping stone toward Kearse signing another multi-year deal with the organization. If he gets through the season healthy he should be one of the team's biggest priorities in free agency.

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