It’s no secret what the achilles heel of the Dallas Cowboys’ defenses have been in recent years.
For a unit considered to be littered with talent, the Cowboys have been unable to create turnovers at any type of consistent rate. Over the years both their personnel and scheme have emphasized avoiding the big play, rather than taking chances and going for sacks and interceptions.
This isn’t bad on its own, but it certainly seems to have gone stale in Dallas. And with a new coaching staff in place for 2020, the strategy is highly likely to change in a big way.
Strategy on the field is one thing, but strategy when it comes to personnel decisions is a whole different game. The Cowboys have devalued the safety position under Rod Marinelli, rarely targeting them in the draft at all. And when they do draft safeties? They wait until the sixth round to find their guy.
The 2020 NFL Draft could change things in Dallas, specifically when they select in the first round. LSU’s Grant Delpit has been linked for months to the Cowboys, seemingly filling an obvious void on the current roster. Dallas is weak up the middle defensively, and Delpit would be an instant upgrade at arguably their worst position group.
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report listed the best draft fit to solve each team’s biggest issue this week, naming the LSU safety as the best match for the Cowboys.
“Delpit could be the first safety off the board, which would make the Cowboys front office sweat it out, barring a trade. Delpit has had an average 2019 campaign on paper, logging 59 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups.”
Delpit’s scouting report is an interesting one. Many have knocked him for obviously inconsistent tackling, as well as the ankle injury history he dealt with this season. But his ability to play the deep middle with excellent range and instincts makes him a clear first round prospect.
Pairing Delpit with Xavier Woods on the back end would allow Woods to roam in the box more freely, likely utilizing his strengths in the slot more often as well. We saw Woods used to cover slot receivers during his rookie year at times, and he flashed in this role.
Grant Delpit has the range, coverage ability, and ball skills that the Cowboys desperately need from their free safety position. He’s not Derwin James in terms of overall playing style, but drafting Delpit could allow the Cowboys to ease some of the pain they may have felt when James went off the board in front of them in 2018.