What direction will the Cowboys go in round one? Many believe, as they should, that defense will be the focus, especially in the early rounds. The interior of the defensive line needs an upgrade as well as the cornerback position, which just got made more important with Byron Jones set to hit the open market.
However, safety is where the Cowboys definitely need to focus their attention on in the first few rounds. LSU’s Grant Delpit and Alabama’s Xavier McKinney will be off the board by the second round. If the Cowboys wait to address safety until day two of the draft, Antoine Winfield Jr would be a steal.
Winfield appeared in 12 games with nine starts as a freshman in 2016 and performed very well. He racked up 52 tackles, an interception, three passes defended, and two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown). However, injuries would plague the next two years for Winfield as he only played in four games in each after dealing with hamstring and foot issues.
2019 would see Winfield put his name on the shortlist of the best safeties coming out of college. He registered 83 tackles, seven interceptions, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and a touchdown. For his efforts, he would be named a Unanimous First-Team All-American, First-Team All-Big Ten, and the Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year.
Antoine Winfield Jr. was MOVING!
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 1, 2020
Winfield has the pedigree being the son of former cornerback Antoine Winfield who made his name as a three-time pro bowler and all-pro for the Minnesota Vikings. He showed in 2019 he has the skills to be a ball-hawking safety with seven interceptions. On a defensive unit that lacks turnovers, he could be a very good fit at strong safety opposite free safety starter Xavier Woods. Lastly, his 4.45 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine showed he has the speed to play on the next level. The Cowboys very well may address the safety position in round one, however, if they wait until day two and Winfield is there, I’d pull the trigger.