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Is Safety George Iloka the Cowboys’ Next Bargain Bin Bust?

For the last three years, the have tried to fill a need with a cheap veteran option in . They have had a string of disappointments with these moves and, though it's still early, there are concerns that may be the latest failed signing.

When Iloka was signed last March, it was generally perceived that he was here to push for a starting job or, at worst, be a highly-experienced backup with position flexibility. George has 79 career starts, which is more than and combined, and he has intriguing physical traits at 6'4″ and the athleticism to play either free or .

But so far through the spring and summer practice reports, Iloka hasn't been standing out. There's no indication he's pushing Heath for a starting job, and fourth-year prospect is the reserve player making noise.

If George Iloka doesn't start separating himself soon, he may wind up not even making this roster.

The ideal mix at safety, and most other positions, is to have your starters, a solid backup, and then a developmental player. So far, Darian Thompson is distinguishing himself as a potential backup. and rookie are also in the mix, offering youth and upside that Iloka, at 29, no longer can.

There is still a whole , and plenty more practices, for Iloka to change perceptions. But the silence around him right now is troubling.

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Bad Free Agent History

It's concerning that the Cowboys aren't hitting on their free agent gambles. This trend started in 2016 with Cedric Thornton, who was brought in to upgrade but then couldn't even crack the starting lineup. He hung around as backup that year, but then was released at final cuts in 2017.

Also in 2017, was signed to replace exiting starters at . He wasn't impressive in the summer and still managed to start, but then got hurt in the second game of the season. Dallas didn't even bother keeping him at that point, releasing Carroll in October of that same year.

Last year, was supposed to come in and fill the WR1 void left by . But Hurns never established himself in the , prompting Dallas to eventually for . Hurns fell down the , not evening beating for the #2 spot, and wound up getting released just a few weeks ago.

To be fair, these players were available and cheap for some of the same reasons they didn't work out. They were risks, and unfortunately Dallas is on a bad run of busting on these gambles.

Will George Iloka be the next failed attempt to add a bargain player? We can't say that for sure just yet, but right now there are some concering signs.

Hopefully, for the team's sake and the player's, things turn around soon.

Jess Haynie
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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