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Cowboys Should Kick The Tires on S Malik Hooker

Seems like it’s the same story just a different season when it comes to the safety position for the Dallas Cowboys. Donovan Wilson showed last season that his rookie momentum before an ankle injury interrupted his progress wasn’t a fluke as he tallied two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, and had 3.5 sacks to go along with 71 tackles in 2020.

He takes care of the strong safety spot but the Cowboys still need a free safety. Four-year starter Xavier Woods is set to be an unrestricted free agent and will likely find a decent payday with another team. With that being said, veteran Malik Hooker is a free agent option the Cowboys should explore.

The first thing people mention when they hear Hooker’s name is his injury history, and rightfully so. As a rookie in 2017, not only did he miss the NFL Scouting Combine as he recovered from hernia and labrum surgeries, but groin and shoulder injuries limited him to just one game of preseason action. He played in the first seven games (six starts) and recorded three interceptions but would miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL and MCL.

The next two seasons Hooker started all 27 games he played in and registered 95 tackles and four interceptions, showing the immense potential he had coming out of Ohio State. Unfortunately, though, his injury woes resurfaced in 2020 when he tore his Achilles after just two games and was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

is Hooker’s injury history concerning? Sure it is and should be carefully taken into consideration before any decision is made. However, several reasons come to mind as to why he would be a welcomed addition in Dallas.

For starters, he’s a scheme fit for what new Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn will try to implement. He will have the Cowboys back in a traditional four-man front in a heavy Cover 1-3 scheme in which your free safety will need to have the ability to play center-field and have the range to make plays in the open field, which fits Hooker’s skill set to a tee.

Hooker would also be a cost-effective signing. With his injury history, he won’t command top dollar which goes right with the Cowboy’s conservative approach to free agency. The former first-round pick could easily be brought in on a one-year prove-it deal.

Then there’s the low-risk high reward factor. If signing Hooker didn’t work the Cowboys wouldn’t lose much on the financial side as mentioned earlier. However, if he were to remain healthy, they would get a Pro Bowl level player and it wouldn’t stop them from taking another safety early in the NFL draft like TCU’s Trevon Moehrig or UCF’s Richie Grant to groom for the future

Signing Hooker comes with some question marks, but the good outweighs the bad and the Cowboys should consider stealing him in free agency before he has a chance to test the market.

What do you think?

Matthew Lenix

Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

Comments

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  1. They can kick the tires then move on to the next car. Sorry but no. Seen this movie way too often. Been burned too much by this type of risk. Jerry has a terrible track record doing this kinda move.

  2. My idea is to get Hooker and get a top Safety in draft , see which one sticks

    I don’t like the health concerns either , but maybe as a flier , with a rookie safety , I’d do it .

    I’m not putting all my eggs in his basket though

  3. He fits nobody’s scheme sitting on IR. Wasn’t the car with all the broken parts last years storyline? Here’s an idea; how about grabbing at least 1 A lister at safety or DT for once during free agency. Just 1. You know; something other than what Jerry’s been doing for 25 years. Just a thought.

  4. Think the former OSU Buckeye is worth the gamble but still should draft safety in second round after cornerback in first round.

  5. I get the injuries , it’s a very much valid concern , but put him with a 2nd round safety in draft which is our plan anyways , and I’m good with it , I’m not gonna get just Hooker , if that’s the case then yes i agree with you guys on not getting him , but if you go my way of getting Hooker and a rookie Safety , i think it’s actually the smartest way to go ,

    YOU CAN HAVE A GUY WHO GETS INJURED IF YOU GOT SOMEONE BEHIND HIM YOU CAN RELY ON

    Which we hope we can rely on a rookie Safety as that’s our plan , got any other plan at SS i haven’t heard ?

    you can make a bit of a competition between the 2 , and whoever turns out , we’ll go to them , if Hooker gets injured again , then we’ll go with our rookie which was our plan anyways , i feel there’s little risk by doing this and it could offer a big reward in the way of us finding our starting SS ,

    now i ain’t spending big money on Hooker , but if we can get him cheap , along with a rookie that i’m planning on getting anyways , than i’d go for it

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