The offseason isn't over by a long shot and the Dallas Cowboys continue to explore options that can help one of the worst defenses in the NFL from 2020. As the free agency train continues rolling round the bend, the Dallas Cowboys continue to look to improve the safety position. With reports that they've met with or shown interest in Malik Hooker and Damontae Kazee, and with the signing of Keanu Neal, it appears to be a new day in Dallas. They're looking under every rock for a potential solution to a safety position that has been underwhelming for quite some time.
Late Tuesday, Todd Archer reported that the Dallas Cowboys are having Jayron Kearse in for a meeting at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Add Jayron Kearse to the list of safeties visiting the Cowboys, joining Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker at The Star. He started seven of 11 games in Detroit last season and had 55 tackles before ending the year on Baltimore's practice squad. Spent 2016-19 with Minnesota.
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 24, 2021
Kearse, a former seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings started the 2020 season with the Detroit Lions, playing over 500 snaps before getting released and finding his way onto the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.
Jayron Kearse was suspended for three games to start the 2020 season for violating the NFL's Policy on substance abuse. The suspension stemmed from an arrest in February of 2020 when he was suspected of driving while intoxicated and was carrying a firearm without a permit.
After the suspension, Kearse worked as a rotational safety for the next four games before taking on a role as their starting strong safety. He would go on to start the next seven games before being released for violating team rules when he was late for curfew on a road trip to Tampa Bay and missing bed check according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Prior to taking on a prominent role in the Lions secondary, Kearse had primarily been a rotational player for the Vikings, playing fewer than 300 snaps in the first four seasons of his career. His best season was in 2019 when he allowed a passer rating of 47.2. Though he played far fewer snaps than the best safeties in the NFL, his 271 snaps earned him an 89 overall defensive grade, which would have him as the fifth highest-graded safety from the 2019 season.
With Donovan Wilson and Keanu Neal already on the roster, Kearse looks like another potential depth signing. The five-year veteran has played both safety spots but has nearly a 2:1 split as a box safety vs free safety.
If signed, it's likely that Jayron Kearse is a depth signing. Someone who could offer a little something on special teams and potentially back up both safety positions. Which could mean that the rumors of Keanu Neal's move to linebacker hold a bit of water.
Though the Cowboys have been methodical and deliberate (or slow and inactive from another's perspective), they're continuing to sift through the sands of free agency hoping to find that unearthed treasure. They may not be doing anything splashy, but these are the types of moves the Cowboys make in free agency.