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Now Minus Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, What’s the Dallas Cowboys Plan at Safety?

Dallas Cowboys safety position has become their weakest link.

When the Dallas Cowboys signed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix this offseason the hope was they were getting a starting caliber player. Sadly, he ended up being nothing more than a short-term camp body who ended up getting released yesterday. Without Clinton-Dix in the mix any longer, the Cowboys depth at safety becomes even more cloudy.

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time visualizing what the Dallas Cowboys are planning to do in regards to their safety position in 2020. As things stand right now, they have very little starting experience at the position. Xavier Woods, Darian Thompson, and Daryl Worley are the only ones with starting experience at safety in the NFL. That’s it!!!

Unfortunately, Xavier Woods is a little banged up at the time after sustaining a groin strain in last Sunday’s scrimmage. That kind of puts his availability for Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams in doubt. That would just leave Darian Thompson, Daryl Worley, and second-year S Donovan Wilson as the most logical options to open up the season as the starting safeties for the Cowboys.

Are you getting worried yet? I know I am.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if the Cowboys have much of a plan in regards to their safety position this season. The only thing we really know for sure is Xavier Woods will start when he’s healthy, but other than that nothing is guaranteed. Darian Thompson has supposedly emerged as a favorite to start, however, he’s been with the Cowboys a few seasons now and couldn’t outplay Jeff Heath.

Then of course you have someone like Reggie Robinson, who the Dallas Cowboys drafted in the fourth-round this year. They’ve been experimenting with him at both safety and cornerback. It’s hard to believe he will be anything more than an emergency fill-in though as a rookie. There is hope he can become a starting caliber player in time, but that’s little to no help this year.

While the Dallas Cowboys throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks, there is a logical solution sitting out there on the open market who could come in and not only upgrade, but solidify the safety position as well… Earl Thomas. Surprisingly though, there seems to be little interest in going that route right now.

Tossing out the idea of adding Earl Thomas, it certainly looks like Xavier Woods and Darian Thompson will be the starting safeties for the Dallas Cowboys this season. I have no problems with Woods as a starter, but I have my doubts about Thompson. Again, after not being able to overtake Jeff Heath the past few seasons it looks like he’s starting out of necessity rather than talent.

I sure hope I’m wrong and the Dallas Cowboys do have something up their sleeve in regards to the safety position, but I for one am having a hard time visualizing it. Only time will tell, but whatever they decide to do between now and the start of the 2020 season could determine the amount of success or failure they have this year.

What do you think the Dallas Cowboys 2020 plans are at safety?

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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  1. Maybe I’m reading this wrong as it appears you are suggesting they never had a plan? I believe they made decent enough moves to solidify the position, it just so happens the we’re wrong on Clinton-Dix, but it would be a bigger mistake to keep him if he isn’t performing. Woods/Thompson is the same “plan” as we thought Woods/Clinton-Dix was … just a different person … but Thompson is just playing at the level that we thought HaHa would. All they have to do is acquire another piece for depth and the plan is back in place. That’s true if they elect to move Worley or Robinson to safety as well.

    Thompson not being able to overtake Heath is a misnomer as well. The previous regime loved Heath because he’s a try hard guy who was assignment-steady and they valued that too much. Thompson actually played well in Heath’s frequent absences. He showed run stopping abilities as well. Just maybe after having a few years under his belt and good health, Thompson has grown into his Round-2 draft pedigree …

    I would suggest that if this results in signing Earl Thomas, then they’ve known all along that they were targeting him. It would be far too reaching to go get him simply as a response to Clinton-Dix not performing.

    • I mean, what’s to worry about? This only owns the door for what we’ve all been clamoring for … getting Wilson on the field as well. Simply put, all that happened here is that our No.4 safety was cut yesterday.

  2. There’s no need for drastic changes right now.Personally i wanna see how DT and Woods perform together.They are 2 athletic players and if our front 7 performs like we expect then this will be a moot argument

  3. Maybe Thompson played better in Mike Nolan’s system than he ever did in Rod Marinellis. That could be a factor that he fits more of what Nolan wants thus leading to Clinton -Dix release. As for Thomas, I still believe he’s coming here. I think a 1 year, prove it deal is ideal for both sides.

    • While there may be a plan to bring in Earl Thomas or anybody else, I would not be one bit surprised if there was no plan to do that, but rather roll with the guys they have inside, because that has been their mantra for years. This may be just another head shaker that Dallas fans are used to seeing

    • There’s just something in me that says “Don’t get Thomas”, but I can certainly see where it can work. My gut tells me he will end up here … it might not be until after week-1 though. For starters, Dallas has cleared some cap space (and more could come by Saturday). Secondly, I’m wondering if all the quiet news about Thomas is maybe a suggestion that he has basically already agreed with Dallas on something and therefore isn’t actively shopping himself? Thirdly, let’s face it Xavier Woods is not news to the injury list and one more injury at safety puts in a precarious position … and Thomas is simply the best S available by a wide margin (unless Dallas is exploring trades at the position). One chink on this plan is that of signed after week-1, I suspect he has to undergo some kind of quarantine period (a week?) and that would mean he doesn’t see the field until week-3, so maybe not worth it?

  4. Ok Brian, do you mean that Thompson didn’t outperform Ha Ha in camp? All the reports I’ve been reading state that he did….as long as Woods is a starter, they should be fine…as for Thomas, a 1 or 2 yr deal preferably with performance and behavior language is ok with me. As usual, great job on your observations…keep em coming.

  5. I’m a bit surprised it’s Thompson not D Wilson vying for the starting role. Most of the buzz we had heard involved Wilson. I wonder what they saw (or didn’t) see in Wilson in this camp. But Thompson has more exp. and apparently impressed the coaches. Wilson is only in 2nd yr and still has 3 yrs left on his contract, so maybe the team didn’t think he was ready, but still has plans for him (next yr ?) Also provides solid back up. As for Thomas I agree that safety is not a position where u make a hasty move out of desperation. To me Thomas has the look of an declining diva. Should be telling about the organization and JJ whether they bring him in. Does JJ revert back to “impulse buy” Jerry or the new and improved sensible one.

  6. I feel safe in saying the Cowboys absolutely have a plan. It is hard to imagine with all the excellent work the front office and coaching staff seems to have done this off season that they have simply been incapable of a plan at the safety position. I have no idea if Thompson is good enough, but as of right now, it appears the folks in charge are thinking so. That is good enough for me. No question our previous coaching staff had favorites, seemingly in spite of possibly better options on the roster. I suppose it is still possible ET end up here, but I am comfortable with whatever the staff decides at this point.

  7. Last I heard on The Ticket was that the Cowboys were waiting to see who will be cut this weekend. I was excited about the thought of Earl Thomas joining 3 years ago, but they cannot chance having a cancer in the locker room. I also heard Ha Ha was getting outplayed by a few members of the secondary.

  8. Dallas could be waiting to sign Earl Thomas after week one. When veteran’s contracts aren’t guaranteed and can be cut at any time. Therefore if he becomes an headache/ looker room cancer they can move on at any time. I believe Dallas can beat the Los Angeles Rams with Woods/Thompson starting. Another thing to keep in mind woods and Thomas both play free safety. The area of concern is starting strong safety. Does Dallas want to undersized safetys?

  9. If that were the case, doesn’t appear that would be in Thomas best interest to wait. Sure he wants guaranteed money. I understand the allure of playing for the cowboys and it sounds like he wants to play for the cowboys. But for all the talk u hear from all these players, at the end of the day it’s usually about the money. Though I will say that more then likely Thomas has already made alot of money, and might take a little less to play for the boys.

  10. I’m still trying to understand how you can truly evaluate a football player without full contact, how one player goes from being a NFL starter to not making the rooster on a team with questionable talent at there position at best, how a guy is penciled in as a starter when he couldn’t beat a mediocre player the year before. Just curious!

    • The basic answer to these questions is that you have an entirely new staff looking at and evaluating these players. Regarding Thompson looking like a starter now, as soon as Heath was allowed to walk away, Thompson became the de facto S2, until HaHa was signed. Yet HaHa clearly disappointed and it seems Wilson hasn’t impressed quite enough. Thompson was a 2nd Round draft choice, so there is something there. I presume you are citing Clinton-Dix as the NFL starter who can’t make a roster … well he’s been dismissed by 3 teams in 2 years! If he’s your standard-bearer if what an NFL safety looks like then I suggest you change your prescription!

  11. Yet he was a stater everywhere he went, he has been ranked in the top 15 at his position in the last two years, has more career int than anyone on current roster combined. Still, regardless of the staff being new, you don’t know what you have in a football player until you see it live. Yes, Thompson was a 2nd rd pick which means nothing, it’s interesting how you can look like a starter without live action! We will see soon enough!

  12. Dallas hasn’t had a consistent safety since Rod Woodson and Roy Williams. Stephen Jones has been around destroying the secondary since 2004. Ha Ha Clinton Dix is definitely better than Darian Thompson. Earl Thomas is not on the team because he’s not a nice person smh. This is why Dallas is not an Elite team. It seems like the front office make emotional decisions instead of winner decisions. Demarcus Ware gets cut and win a super bowl. Dez Bryant could have went to ravens and been a winner. Tony Romo benched for an inconsistent young QB smh. My God get these people out of the front office. Redskins and Eagles are going to beat us in every meeting watch. We suck at safety but earl Thomas is sitting at home probably having an orgy or something. Sign the man so we can have a competitive secondary. Calvin Ridley destroyed those mediocre DBs. Metcalf is going to have a field day.

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