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Cowboys Hoping the Best is Yet to Come From S Malik Hooker

Malik Hooker comeback campaign was successful enough in 2021, earning him a new two-year deal with the this . But the former 1st-round pick has plenty more to prove, and Dallas is banking on even better performance from the projected starting safety next season.

Once the 15th-overall pick in the 2017 , Hooker’s never lived up to his hype coming out of Ohio State. But in Malik’s case have made it difficult to find any consistency, only appearing in about 62% of the games he could have over the last five seasons.

A torn Achilles during the was enough for the Colts. Having already declined Malik’s 5th-year option for 2021, Indianapolis ended the disappointing tenure and allow Hooker to sign elsewhere.

The Cowboys made Hooker one of their many last offseason to get a one-year contract. He was a late addition, five days after the start of , and began the year as a backup.

While he didn’t make the dramatic leap that did in 2021, Hooker ended the year on a high note. He was becoming a more visible presence with his play-making and consistently outshining . It was no surprise when Dallas re-signed Hooker over Kazee in March.

That new contract is a modest one; $7 million over the next two years with an addition $1 million in incentives. It was cheap enough that Hooker could’ve returned to a backup role but now, with the draft and most activity behind us, Malik appears to be your starting in 2022.

Malik Hooker
Cowboys S Malik Hooker

No, Malik Hooker still hasn’t validated his former draft status. But still only 26 and after so much tribulation with medical issues, Malik may be getting one of his better chances for success this year in Dallas.

This will be Hooker’s first full offseason with the Cowboys. That, plus last year’s experience, will give him a much stronger foundation going into next season than he had before.

That Malik was playing his best ball late into last season is an encouraging sign. That he didn’t miss any games due to , only COVID, is an even better one. The arrow is pointing up on the still-young safety and Dallas definitely needs him.

Aside from Hooker and Kearse, is the only other safety of consequence currently on the . But with Wilson and Kearse both built for the role, Malik is likely to go unchallenged for the other starting spot.

Unfortunately, guys with Hooker’s of hip and knee issues don’t always get back to their full potential. But even if Malik never reaches his peak again, there’s plenty of room below that for Hooker to still be a capable of even exceptional starter for the Cowboys.

Hopefully, for all our sakes, Malik Hooker’s comeback has only just begun. Last year was about proving he could stay healthy and contribute and that was successful. If Hooker can take things to the next level and be a consistent difference maker, the may have a surprise weapon in 2022.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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