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S Malik Hooker’s a Low Risk, High Reward FA Signing Cowboys Should Gamble on

Malik Hooker is an intriguing FA target for the Dallas Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys need safety help. The safety market is plush with options. The opportunity is there for them to upgrade the position in the offseason, but will they choose to dole out the money for one of the top-rated players or choose to shop in the bargain bin?

If we’ve learned anything about the Dallas Cowboys the past several years than we know all too well they prefer to bargain shop rather than get in a bidding war for a high-priced veteran free agent. Maybe that strategy will change this year, however, I wouldn’t bet on it.

With that in mind in regards to potential free agent safety targets we can probably exclude players like Justin Simmons, Marcus Williams, Anthony Harris, and Marcus Maye. All four of these players will likely command more money than the Cowboys are willing to dole out. Sadly, that leaves us looking at some of the more cost-effective options.

Enter Malik Hooker.

Malik Hooker is a former first-round pick (15th overall) by the Indianapolis Colts back in 2017. He was a highly regarded prospect coming out of Ohio State and was largely considered the second-ranked safety in the 2017 NFL Draft behind only Jamal Adams. That was then though and this is now.

Sadly, Malik Hooker has been plagued by a multitude of injuries throughout his four years in the NFL. From a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in 2017 to a torn Achilles in September 2020, injuries have unfortunately kept him sidelined more often than he’s spent on the field. Labeling him as injury prone seems fitting.

Strangely enough, this is the kind of risk/reward type of free agent signing the Dallas Cowboys don’t mind gambling on. Malik Hooker is still a young, talented player despite all of his injuries and he without a doubt would fill a need on the backend of their defense. The only real concern here is his lengthy injury history.

Let’s forget about the injury concerns for second. Malik Hooker would be a great fit in Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme as a deep safety, much like he had in Earl Thomas with the Seattle Seahawks. His range and ball hawking mentality would be a welcomed addition to the backend of the Cowboys defense.

I don’t know about you, but I believe the potential reward outweighs any risks involved by the Dallas Cowboys gambling on Malik Hooker. He’s young, talented, fills a need, and should be relatively cost-effective considering his injury history. And, his addition wouldn’t prevent them from drafting a safety early either if they wanted. Sounds like a win-win to me.

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. If you cannot be on the field, you are not a player.
    No, it makes no sense to sign a player who has bad injuries to both legs.
    No more reclamation projects.

  2. Funny the way we want to get ready of T. Smith, LVE and S Lee because of the injury history and we want to consider players with the same history. As siempre44 mentioned “if they cannot be on the field, NO”.

  3. the difference between T Smith and Hooker is that T Smith is getting paid like he’s one of the best LBs in the NFL when rn he FOR SURE isn’t , I think at this point if you can bring in Hooker for a LOW PRICE then WHY NOT ? It’s not like we got someone who can be better than him for sure at Saftey , we need help in that position and he’s still pretty young so i’d TAKE HIM , now that doesn’t mean that the cowboys shouldn’t target a Safety in draft kinda early but like what Brian Martin said Hooker is a LOW RISK HIGH REWARD guy and we don’t have much better options except just don’t add anybody at all so yes if you can get him cheap , GO FOR IT

  4. Spending monetary resources and a position of the final roster on a player that you know can’t stay healthy just doesn’t sound like a good idea at all. Just seems like you will get burned far more often than hitting the lotto with that business model. What did Parcells always say? You are what your record says you are. That’s not just a team concept. If your personal record is a torn achilles, ACL, MCL and you’ve spent more time in rehab than in practice or on the field, then that’s what you should expect to get in a signing like that. Somebody help me understand how this makes sense in any other capacity other than a camp guy for depth. And you can get those cheaper. He is young and he is talented but he is injury prone. Really too bad for him and I wish him well in life. Here’s a question: Would Jimmy Johnson hire him?

  5. If Jimmy was stuck with this lack of talent at that position then yes , now this hinges on IF we can get him cheap , if not then i agree , but if you can get him cheap and i’d still add someone through draft in like 2nd or 3rd round to help ensure there , worst case scenario he’s out and we go with a rookie there in his spot which i think is just about the plan anyways there at safety right ? And best case scenario , he able to stay healthy and we get a perfect fit there at safety for what DQ wants to do to go along Diggs, D Wilson and Surtain/Farley (if they’re there) at 10th pick , and we got a revamped , solid secondary again

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