The Dallas Cowboys are currently thin on the backend of their defense, better known as the safety position. They may not admit to it, but we all know it and they know it as well. But, even though they don't have the depth many of us would prefer, things might not be as bleak as it looks from the outside looking in.
If the season were to start today, we would probably see Jeff Heath reprise his starting role and either Xavier Woods or Kavon Frazier lining up next to him. I don't know if that would be considered an upgrade from last season or a downgrade. There is just too much unknown right now.
Personally, the Cowboys current safety depth is the most concerning position on the roster right now for me. What if something were to happen to one of those three safeties (Heath, Woods, Frazier)? That would deplete the already thin depth even more and severely handicap the entire defense.
You concerned yet?
The Cowboys speak highly of the current safeties, but that could be just smoke and mirrors. Of course, they could be willing to roll the dice because they know they have someone who can fill in in an emergency situation if needed.
Yes, I'm talking about Byron Jones. The same player many Cowboys fans have wanted to completely wash their hands of. He may not be the player he was hyped up to be as a first-round draft pick in 2015, but he does have starting experience at safety and didn't perform too poorly during his time there. In fact, I thought he played pretty well.
It's old news now, but when Kris Richard was hired, the first decision he made was to move Byron Jones back to cornerback. Richard likes the taller/longer limbed CBs in his secondary, and Jones fits the bill to a T. But, that doesn't necessarily mean Jones won't be utilized in other areas of the secondary in 2018.
The Dallas Cowboys are fortunate enough to have some really good young cornerbacks on their roster. Chidobe Awuzie looks like a star in the making and could be a favorite to earn his first Pro Bowl bid this season. Jourdan Lewis didn't look out of place last year either and is more than capable of starting on the outside in the NFL. And, let's not forget about Anthony Brown, who has started for the Cowboys as well.
I believe it's the Cowboys depth at the CB position which could make them feel more comfortable about rolling the dice with how thin they are at the safety position. Byron Jones' versatility to play several positions in the secondary could come in real handy this season.
Luckily for the Cowboys, Byron Jones is still under contract for at least a few more seasons while they figure all of this out. Without him, I think they could be in real trouble if an unfortunate injury were to occur.