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    How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard’s Secondary?

    Unfortunately, 's most recent four game is the main story for a team finished with and mini camp, left only to wait for now. I've chosen to focus on the players that were on the field for the program, that will continue to contend for starting jobs in . Standing out from a lackluster group of safeties, for a led that is off to a fast start, are safeties and .

    Joined by , , , and Marqueston Huff, the Cowboys are lacking a dominant force at to pair with their young and talented group of cornerbacks. With the likes of , (the former safety), and already improving under Richard, the Cowboys hope is that the same will apply to this group of safeties.

    It's still entirely too early to know how the Cowboys want to deploy their safeties this season, but the only players that have shown their strengths and weaknesses over any period of time are Heath, Frazier, and Woods. This is sure to cause an uphill battle for the fringe players looking to push this trio of versatile safeties.

    Jeff Heath has appeared in 77 games over five seasons with the Cowboys. Frazier and Woods combined? Just 24 games, with 16 of them making up Woods' rookie season a year ago. This makes finding a potential role for both players vital to the Cowboys.

    How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary? 2
    Dallas Cowboys S Kavon Frazier (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

    Safety Kavon Frazier

    Working mostly as a player through two seasons in Dallas, Kavon Frazier has patiently awaited his opportunity to spark the Cowboys as a pick of 2016. Doing so in a memorable week 13 win over the , Frazier earned an increased role as an enforcer on defense.

    This is a player whose straight line burst and power is ideal for a ST starter, and when Frazier connects coming downhill on defense, the results can be catastrophic for an opposing .  Surely these are traits that will remind Kris Richard even slightly of his winning “Legion of Boom” defenses.

    The distinction between Frazier being a part-time player or one maximizing his potential to start deep in the Cowboys secondary is an important one. Limited in coverage, Frazier may be at his best when conceding snaps to another safety on the Cowboys roster with more of an all-around game — which the Cowboys can only hope Xavier Woods continues to be.

    Safety Xavier Woods

    Xavier Woods may not have the pure stopping power that Kavon Frazier possesses, but as a fellow sixth-round pick there is more than enough to like about what Woods brought to the Cowboys in 2017 out of Louisiana Tech. With 14 interceptions and six forced fumbles out of college, Woods slid in the draft enough for the Cowboys to up for his services.

    The team wasn't cheated out of their investment in Woods last season, giving him the “Byron Jones treatment” as Woods lined up all over the field. It was Richard that came to Dallas and almost immediately moved Byron Jones down to , seeing a better use of his natural size and skills there.

    Doing the same for Woods — while keeping the natural FS free to react — should be next up on Richard's offseason to-do list. This is a player with sideline to sideline range, enough athleticism to cover down in the slot, and the functional strength to compete in the box.

    Amidst this uncertainty for both Frazier and Woods, early reports out of the Cowboys practices thus far have Jeff Heath specifically matching up against the . This is an ideal role for Heath, and one that could compliment Woods very well.

    How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary? 1
    Dallas Cowboys CB Anthony Brown, S Xavier Woods, Jeff Heath

    Regardless of where Heath is on the field, Woods should be able to coexist with him as a similarly instinctive safety.

    There is also the possibility that both Heath and Woods struggle to handle these “starting” responsibilities, leaving the Cowboys with very little trusted depth at safety. If there is an area Woods needs the most improvement in, it is the angles he takes against the run to consistently make stops, a weakness also potentially mitigated by the Cowboys improved play (investing the 19th overall pick at the position).

    ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

    Between Frazier and Woods, it feels safe to say the Cowboys must find a starter for a secondary that could still achieve great things in 2018. The Cowboys are entering this season with a loaded group of cornerbacks, all capable of making a safety's job relatively easy, especially while learning under Richard.

    Such can be the hope for a raw player like Frazier and, in a sense, Xavier Woods. The second-year player in Woods is a great unknown for the Cowboys right now, as he'll remain that way for some time before next month's training camp.

    With this, we'll have much more time to sit around and continue pondering what certain position groups will look like once meaningful Cowboys football graciously returns. I've written before that I'm paying close attention to this team's group of wide receivers, and you can add in the secondary players they'll be competing against too.

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    Sean Martin
    Sean Martinhttp://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/
    Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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    Nick Russo

    I am curious to see what Richard thinks about playing both woods and Frazier. To me, Woods is just a better version of heath as far as coverage ability and with his sideline to sideline speed, I think that is where he is the upgrade. While heath may be a little bit better at taking angles on a ball carrier and making tackles, I think having a guy like Kavon to play up in the box would be ideal as you don’t really have that with the deployment of woods and heath. Ultimately I think you have to rotate all three guys in. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.