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Dallas Cowboys Solidified Safety but are they Done?

For years, fans and analysts of the Dallas Cowboys have wanted the team to make an addition at the safety position. Aside from the 2018 season from Xavier Woods, you’d have to go back to Ken Hamlin, Roy Williams, or Darren Woodson to find good to great safety play.

Well, in the span of just a few business days, the Cowboys added three players who can give them snaps at safety.

First, they added Keanu Neal, who projects to give them snaps at weakside linebacker as well as strong safety. Then they signed Jaron Kearse, who looks to contribute as a backup to Donovan Wilson and give them some special teams snaps as well. Then the Dallas Cowboys brought in Damontae Kazee to be their free safety.

And now they have a depth chart at safety that looks pretty good if Kazee is able to bounce back from his season-ending injury from 2020.

With Donovan Wilson, Keanu Neal, and Jaylon Kearse able to take snaps at strong safety and Damontae Kazee and Reggie Robinson currently on the depth chart at free safety, the Cowboys look solid at the position. There’s also been speculation about using Jourdan Lewis some at safety.

But are they done?

The NFL Draft has quite a few players projected to go in the first 100 picks that could fit what they’re trying to do in Dan Quinn’s cover-3 scheme.

While there is excitement over the additions they’ve made over the last week, the Cowboys shouldn’t let those additions dissuade them from taking a safety in the first few rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. They could look to trading into back end of the first round for someone like Trevon Moehrig or Richie Grant. Wait and take someone like Ar’Darius Washington or James Wiggins. There are options.

Donovan Wilson has just two years remaining in his rookie contract. Reggie Robinson hasn’t played a snap yet. And everyone else is on a one-year deal. Not great for their long-term prospects at the position.

However, with Wilson ascending and if Kazee or Neal can prove to be effective players with Dan Quinn calling the defense, perhaps they’ve got a few players that will be in line for a new contract in the 2022 offseason. If there is uncertainty in the front office about the development or long-term capabilities of their safety group, then they need to add someone in the draft that could potentially take over if the safety play is sub-optimal.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. Hey, John, I like that they have brought some safeties in but, like you said, those are one year deals. Personally, I say take Surtain at #10 if available then draft the best safety on the board with their second pick. They have to have someone not on a one year deal to add some stability. After that, they have to have someone who can help stop the running backs at the line of scrimmage. Too many needs with not enough picks on players in the early rounds and I about vomit thinking about trading back. In Surtain, you probably have a perennial pro bowl prospect. I wouldn’t want to see that slip through their fingers for a lesser player so JJ can get an extra second or third round pick to do something asinine with. Sit still and let the draft come to him instead of chasing ghosts to make a splash. This is a multi year rebuild, not a reload on the whole defense.

    • At this point, a trade back to me only makes sense if Surtain isn’t there. I feel like with Brent Urban and Antwaun Woods, your 1-technique situation is in better shape. I would like to see them add another defensive tackle in the draft and a safety as well. I think safety is a good spot to get some value in the third round. Also wouldn’t mind them taking a wide receiver or linebacker.

      They’ve got a lot of areas that they can add players to the competition for snaps.

  2. John, every position should be up for grabs. Let competition, not salary or past performance, dictate who will be a starter. I agree on the trade back only making sense if Surtain is gone. I just can’t see it any other way.

  3. Also if u miss out on Surtain and trade down, that added draft capital along with our abundance of existing capital will allow us to trade back up a bit for a targeted player. If we trade down to the 15-20 slot there will still be some good players available.

    But to Stephen G point gotta be careful about moving down too much. Gotta make sure we don’t trade out of an opportunity to get some much needed blue chippers.

  4. Patrick Surtain will be there at #10. Draft Him. Dallas has 4 Compensatory Picks in the 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Rounds. They can use those Picks to Trade Back into the latter half of the First Round to Draft the #1 Rated Free Safety in Trevon Moehrig. And Still have One or Two of those Compensatory Picks – Plus, their own 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Rounders. All I’m Wishing for is for them to do that n I’m Pleased for the Rest of the Draft. I Want “Patrick Surtain” & “Trevon Moehrig”. Enough Said.

  5. REGGIE- It would be great if it worked out that way, but that’s best case scenario and the draft seldom plays out the way u think it will. But yea if we got Surtain and Moehrig that would be perfect even if we had to surrender a 3rd and 4th. Then get BA 1-tech DT and go from there.

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