The Cowboys haven’t officially announced any changes to the depth chart and probably won't until training camp. If the rumors that are circulating prove true, then Byron Jones will be moving to free safety next to Barry Church full time.
This leaves J.J. Wilcox, a free agent after the 2016 season scheduled to earn $1.6 million this year, at a disadvantage. He’s now fighting for a starting spot.
Wilcox remains unruffled by this. He has said he’s not worried about the business of the NFL, and admits he must get better to compete for the starting job. But does Wilcox have a fighting chance to even earn consideration for the starting position at Free Safety?
There’s no question Wilcox is definitely fighting an uphill battle. For starters, he’s still somewhat “new” to the safety position. As a third round pick in 2013, J.J. Wilcox came from Georgia Southern University where his first position was running back. His performance so far shows that playing safety is something that does not come naturally to him.
Wilcox repeatedly takes bad angles at ball carriers or fails to make a play on a ball in the air. Even when given the rare chance to make a play, he misses.
More so, he’d have to beat out one of the most promising young players on the defense, Byron Jones. Jones played as an outside corner, in the slot and free safety in 2015. The kid can do it all, but safety is where he seems most comfortable.
Wilcox only had one interception and three pass deflections last season. Jones, on the other hand, had nine pass deflections, but no interceptions in his rookie year with the Cowboys. He also made 47 tackles to Wilcox’s 37 tackles.
To be fair, Jones played more snaps than Wilcox. In fact, he played the second most snaps on the defense, second to Brandon Carr. This could have something to do with why he had more impressive stats than Jones in 2015.
Wilcox also may not be getting a fair shake. Although he has blown a lot of pivotal plays, he’s made just as many.
And although he may be fairly new to the position, the 2015 season brought him another year of experience, and hopefully, improved play for the 2016 season.
It’s no secret that the Cowboys secondary is probably one of the weaker areas of the team and one of the reasons why Jones was so valuable to the defense last season. Because Jones is so integral to the defense and shows so much promise, Jones is the better option of the two. Therefore, Wilcox is on the roster bubble.
With Jones moving to safety full time, Wilcox’s days in the starting lineup could be over. All is not lost, though, as Wilcox is still a good backup option. Whether or not he and the Cowboys can negotiate a contract price will be the question facing Wilcox next offseason.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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