The Cowboys are continuing their strategy of shoring up roster needs prior to the 2017 NFL Draft. Today, Dallas signed sixth-year veteran safety Robert Blanton. He has previously been with the Bills and Vikings.
With holes at safety following the free agent departures of Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, Dallas needed more experience at the position. Byron Jones is entrenched as a starter but behind him were only the semi-experienced Jeff Heath and even less seen Kavon Frazier.
Robert Blanton’s signing with the Cowboys was first announced on Twitter by his agent:
Congratulations to @BlantonRobert on signing with the #DallasCowboys !
Blanton was a fifth-round pick by Minnesota in 2012. He became a full-time starter in 2014 and led the team in tackles, but then lost the job in 2015 to veteran Andrew Sendejo. A free agent last year, Blanton signed a one-year deal with Buffalo but suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 11.
The Cowboys had Robert Blanton in a for a free agent visit on March 20th but did not sign him until now. Just a week out from the draft, it gives even more indication that Dallas may be focused on finding a defensive lineman and cornerback with their early draft picks.
Blanton has started 19 games in his NFL career, giving him a slight experience edge over Jeff Heath. In March, Stephen Jones said he was high on Heath but that the fifth-year safety would still have to compete for the starting role. Blanton will also be competitive, and at worst provides a veteran backup to supplement Kavon Frazier’s lack of experience.