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Cowboys Still Waiting for Xavier Woods Breakout; Impact on 2020 Draft

While has emerged as a starter for the the last two seasons, he has yet to break out as a true star at his position. With his contract expiring after 2020, this has put Dallas in a difficult spot during the and in next week's Draft.

To be clear, Woods has been exceptional given that he was just a 6th-round pick in 2017. That he's put in two years of starting work, and as a quality player, is way more than you usually get from those later rounds.

But we went into 2019 expecting Xavier to emerge as one of the top safeties in the NFL. And while he was still solid, his performance didn't have that third-year improvement you want to see.

The expectation may be unfair on our part. One of the ways we soothed ourselves after not landing last year was the thought that Woods was going to step up and become a homegrown star. That may be asking too much.

But that leaves the Cowboys with a difficult choice in the draft. Do they trust that Xavier Woods still has room to grow, or do they look for an upgrade now?

Cowboys Draft Target: Alabama Safety Xavier McKinney
Alabama safety

Dallas is in a great position at the 17th pick to land the top safety in the rookie class, Alabama's Xavier McKinney. They might even be able to down and get him, or go for another strong prospect like or Kyle Dugger.

While I expect the Cowboys will take a or receiver in the , their perceived need at safety depends a lot on their feelings about Xavier Woods.

If they trust that Woods can become a star, they may not feel the need to spend a premium pick at safety now. They've already signed veteran for 2020 and have as an intriguing developmental player.

But if they're not so high on Xavier, and especially with his contract up next year, the Cowboys may be looking at safety as a top draft priority.

Again, this isn't a slam on Xavier Woods. He's been great for where he was drafted and could be a starter here for years to come.

But does Dallas see him as a future star or just a solid player at safety?  That answer could have a major impact on what they do in next week's draft.

Jess Haynie
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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