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Daryl Worley, Reggie Robinson Getting Some Looks at Safety

The Dallas Cowboys have been looking for a way to improve their safety position for several years now. Though their interest in Earl Thomas and Jamal Adams never materialized past conversations because of the price, the team’s consistent pursuit of an All-Pro safety shows some dissatisfaction with the position. In the offseason, the Cowboys moved to lock up veteran free agent Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as the solution to Jeff Heath’s departure. It was assumed that Clinton-Dix was going to be the starter, but early in training camp, he’s begun to cede snaps to Darian Thompson.

To find the right combination on the back end with Xavier Woods, the Cowboys have begun experimenting with some of their more versatile players in Daryl Worley and Reggie Robinson II. Per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, both Worley and Robinson saw some snaps at safety during yesterday’s practice.

Now, it’s possible that the Cowboys are experimenting with those players in a “tight end” eraser role and don’t have plans for them to be full-time safeties. However, it is interesting that the Cowboys defensive staff is looking for answers outside of the safety room.

While Daryl Worley played primarily as a boundary cornerback for the Las Vegas Raiders in the early part of the season, toward the end, he began to spend more time at safety or in a box safety role. He had several games where the team deployed him to match up with the opposing team’s tight end. His versatility is one of the reasons Worley’s going to make the team and have a significant role with the Cowboys. He can play on the outside, in the slot, against tight ends or in a traditional free safety look.

At Tulsa, they found ways to put Reggie Robinson in advantageous coverage positions that would use his ability to play in zone coverages. Though Robinson will have a hard time finding snaps at cornerback, safety might allow him to see the field more frequently as a rookie.

Even as the Earl Thomas saga continues to rage on, the Cowboys are looking for potential answers at the safety position. While cornerback was the hot-button topic heading into training camp, it’s become apparent that those guys are up to the challenge ahead of them. Outside of Xavier Woods, safety is becoming a real concern.

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t ruled out bringing in Earl Thomas despite reports to the contrary, but it looks like they’re looking internally first. Because Earl Thomas has long wanted to come to the Dallas Cowboys, there’s a possibility he’s waiting on the Cowboys before he makes any decisions about his future. With internal options for the Cowboys coaching staff to peruse, they don’t have to be in any hurry to decide on Earl Thomas either. Earl Thomas is undoubtedly a better option next to Xavier Woods than anything they have on the team as a player. However, they have to weigh some of his recent issues on and off the field and ask themselves, is he worth it?

Until then, the Dallas Cowboys will continue to look at ways to upgrade the safety spot from within. With Daryl Worley and Reggie Robinson II, the Cowboys have a couple of players that could make some noise in the competition for snaps. Even if they aren’t full-time safeties, their coverage ability gives the defensive staff options to deploy them in individual matchups throughout the season.

What do you think?


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. It makes sense to hv position flex with these DBs, changing coverages keeps QBs off balanced and guessing. Smart move on the DC part!

  2. McCarthy has already stated that he likes the versatility his current players offer him. And the added insight here that this could be a means for getting one of the bigger CB’s into that position for the sole purpose of combating good TE’s is an excellent piece of insight … another nice piece of work there John!

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