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How Would the Cowboys Acquiring Jamal Adams Affect Xavier Woods?

One of the hot topics swirling around the Dallas Cowboys right now is a potential trade for Jets’ safety Jamal Adams. We can’t stop ourselves from excited speculation, but what would that move mean for one of the team’s favorite young players in Xavier Woods?

Adams and Woods both entered the NFL in 2017 near opposite ends of the rookie spectrum. Jamal was the 6th-overall pick in the draft and Xavier went in the 6th Round.

The gap has narrowed since then. Adams has certainly lived up to his billing as an elite safety prospect, and Woods has outperformed his draft status and emerged as Dallas’ best safety the last two seasons.

That said, Xavier is far from elite. The Cowboys would be making a significant upgrade at either safety position by acquiring Jamal Adams.

Could that move mean the end for Woods’ time in Dallas?

Dallas added another big-name safety this offseason in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Still just 27 years old, Ha Ha is a former 1st-Round pick like Adams and spent over four seasons playing under new Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy.

Granted, it was also under McCarthy that Clinton-Dix was traded to Washington in the middle of 2018. So it would probably be unwise to assume that Ha Ha is untouchable now.

Both Xavier Woods and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix have expiring contracts. So that doesn’t really factor into the decision; Dallas would have to re-up with either of them in 2021.

Report: Cowboys S Xavier Woods Named NFC Defensive Player Of The Week
Dallas Cowboys safety Xavier Woods

If Jamal Adams were to join the Cowboys this year, Dallas could consider trading one of their current projected starters. At this point, one could argue that Woods’ youth and upside make him a more attractive asset for other team than the older Clinton-Dix.

Dallas would still have Darian Thompson, Daryl Worley, and Donovan Wilson as intriguing assets to fill out their safety depth chart. There’s also the talk of CB Chidobe Awuzie transitioning to safety.

Even if the Cowboys could only get back a 4th or 5th-Round pick in exchange for Xavier, that would be a decent profit for a guy originally taken in the 6th Round.

Ultimately, I doubt that Jamal Adams is coming to Dallas. The cost is just too much both in draft capital and in the contract that the Cowboys would have to soon give him. The team hasn’t valued the safety position much in modern history and I can’t see them making such a dramatic leap now.

Xavier Woods is a factor in that as well. If he continued to grow in 2020 under a new coaching staff, Woods might be a long-term answer at safety at a fraction of the total cost in acquiring Adams.

But with the Cowboys desperate to get back to the Super Bowl, any opportunity to add elite talent is never going to be ignored.

If Dallas did pull the trigger on trading for Jamal Adams, in addition to having just added Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the most likely scenario is Xavier Woods being demoted to a primary backup role. I also think the Cowboys would actively shop him in a trade.

What do you think?


Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!


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  1. If I’m the cowboys and IF we ended up with Jamal Adams I would keep Xavier woods and trade Haha. Xavier could learn from Adams and then we would have a safety duo that flip positions and further more disguise our coverages. Xavier has potential and youth and we won’t have to pay big money if we extend him cause he hasn’t been elite but he has been good

    • Woods don’t stay hurt!! What have you been watching!? He’s maybe missed 2 or 3 games in 3 years due to injury!!

  2. The Cowboys can’t afford to pay Adams by giving him that long term contract he’s do, not to mention a 1st or 2nd round pick, on top of the cash. Obviously he’s a top 3 safety, but Woods has been solid and producing more year after year since he was drafted. Salary cap is the reason why I doubt this trade would go down, but who knows.

  3. Would love to have Adams just not at the cost it would require to get him. Then the added cost of paying him top 2-3 safety money in an extension. Roll Woods and Clinton-Dix out there this year. See if Woods continues to develop. Allow the new staff to groom Wilson and maybe grab safety in next years draft. Imo

  4. If for some reason the cowboys front office decided they did wanna be stupid enough to trade away all that draft capital and pay Jamal Adams all that money too, it wouldn’t affect Xavier Woods at all!! They both play different positions!! Jamal Adams is a strong safety and Xavier Woods is a free safety!! So Woods would be on the field at the same time as Adams!! The only player it would affect is Donovan Wilson and maybe Clinton Dix since they’re the ones that play the strong safety position!!

  5. Adams is worth a first – and then some. Dallas has TWO 3rd round picks next year. So the price isn’t that high. Also. Tyrone Crawford and Travis Frederick will be completely off the books in 2021. So you can afford the contract.

    Here’s your base defense:

    D_Lawrence (DE), G_McCoy (DT), N_Gallimore (DT), A_Smith (DE)

    J_Smith (LB1) L_Vander-Esch (LB2) S_Lee (LB3)

    J_Adams (SS)

    T_Diggs (CB2), C_Awuzie (CB1A)

    X_Woods (FS)

    That ain’t bad at all.

  6. 50% of first rounders don’t pan out. Draft picks are overvalued. Seattle routinely trades their first. New England has operated without first rounders as penalties. Make the trade and get the best safety in the NFL prowling in our secondary. Maybe we can get pff the field in 3rd and longs next season.

    Come on Jerry!

  7. Let. Me sum everything up.
    IT ALL boils down toto ONLY ONE question. Is a 24 yr old ALL-PRO in a position we need the MOST help worth a number one pick. Yes, it’s costs us a third- but we do have another third from Byron Jones.we might have to let Crawford as well in order to be under the cap but with Gregory, Alton Smith and David Irving all possible reinstatements the DL “should” be deep enough.
    A proven multiple pro bowl player is definitely worth it. ( see Amari Cooper). THAT’S ALL FOLKS

  8. Awfully expensive, and as much as I’d like to have him, it’s not necessarily good business right now. I’ve watched the kid since middle school as he was my daughter’s classmate and I love the way he plays and have rooted for him at every level. But Jerry’s not all wrong about not needing a safety who handcuffs your cap … they just aren’t difference makers unless they are uniquely special. Ed Reed, Ronnie Lott, Kenny Houston, Paumalou … this kid isn’t in that class.

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