The Dallas Cowboys, for what seems like forever, are still trying to find the right combination at the safety position. Former strong safety starter Jeff Heath signed with the Las Vegas Raiders last week which left a hole to fill opposite Xavier Woods.
Backup Safety Darian Thompson was re-signed to a two-year deal worth 2.8 million. Also, they landed veteran Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on a one-year deal worth four million to add more insurance. However, the Cowboys still need more help at the safety position and Lenoir-Rhyne’s Kyle Dugger is a gem they could snatch on day two.
After redshirting his freshman year in 2014, Dugger showed tremendous promise a year later when he registered 43 tackles, six passes defended, four interceptions, and two fumble recoveries in 10 starts. Unfortunately in 2016, he had to take a medical redshirt after suffering an injury in the season opener. In 2017, Dugger got back to showing his potential from two years earlier. He totaled 87 tackles, six passes defended, and an interception while also garnering Second-Team All-South Atlantic honors.
As a redshirt junior in 2018, Dugger had arguably his best collegiate season. He received First-Team All-South Atlantic honors as a defensive back with 76 tackles, 13 passes defended, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and two forced fumbles. He would also make First-Team All-Conference as a return specialist as he averaged 17.2 yards per punt return and 20 yards per kickoff return, scoring two touchdowns. His redshirt senior season was cut short by a hand injury, however, it didn’t stop him from making an impact. He would receive Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-South Atlantic honors as a defensive back (31 tackles, four passes defended, two interceptions) and a return specialist (14.6 yards per return, two touchdowns).
Dugger has excellent size at 6’1 and 217 pounds. He has the range to play as a high safety or down in the box. He’s a very physical tackler and has excellent ball skills as evidenced by his 10 career interceptions and 29 passes defended. He could come right in and not only challenge Clinton-Dix for a starting role but he would give the Cowboys another young safety to polish along with 2019 sixth-round pick Donovan Wilson. Also, he had six kick return touchdowns in college which makes him a very versatile player.
Watch “Kyle Dugger || Best D2 Player 💯 || DB || Career Highlights” on YouTube
Scouting report according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
Dugger may have gone to a D2 school but you can’t deny his impressive production as both a defensive back and return specialist. If the Cowboys don’t address the safety position in the first round and he’s there in the second he should get a lot of consideration.