One of the many Dallas Cowboys scheduled to hit free agency in 2020 is Safety Darian Thompson. While he’s not a big name compared to his teammates, Thompson is a young and versatile player who Dallas may want to consider re-signing for next season.
Thompson has spent the last two seasons with Dallas in a backup role, but we saw that role increase last year as he was credited with four starts. He had a standout performance in Week 14 against the Bears, leading the team with 11 tackles and recording a sack.
Darian was an early 3rd-round pick in 2016 by the Giants so it shouldn’t be surprising that he has talent. If the Cowboys think there’s even more potential there to unlock, Thompson could be a sneaky-good signing this offseason.
You might think that after four seasons there wouldn’t much left to find out about a player. But Darian’s early years in New York came with a 14-week injury as a rookie and coaching instability, which can easily delay development.
At 6’2″ and around 210 pounds, Thompson has the size to play any safety role. That could be especially valuable to Dallas in 2020 with some of their other players who are about to hit free agency.
Both Jeff Heath and Kavon Frazier’s contracts are expiring. Even if the Cowboys re-sign one of them, both players are better suited to be down closer to the line of scrimmage than out in coverage.
Even if Dallas re-signs Heath as a veteran backup and special teams ace, Darian Thompson could be an equally valuable reserve asset.
It’s expected that the Cowboys will pursue a new starting safety this offseason to pair with Xavier Woods. But if that player needs any adjustment period, particularly a rookie, Thompson has 21 career starts and would make for a solid insurance policy.
What’s more, if Heath’s asking for too much money to come back, the option to re-sign Thompson gives Dallas some solid leverage.
Granted, Darian Thompson is way down the list of the Cowboys’ free agent priorities in 2020. But he’s a player with experience, versatility, and perhaps even some upside we’ve yet to see. Re-signing Thompson could be a shrewd move as Dallas loads up the roster for next season.