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.