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Should Cowboys Add Another Safety Before Training Camp?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Add Another Safety Before Training Camp?

The Dallas Cowboys are extremely thin at the safety position. Fact. They haven't really brought in anyone to upgrade the position from last season. Fact. I just wanted to point that out because there's a lot of discussion as to whether or not the Cowboys need to add another safety before training camp.

I don't know where you stand on this debate or how I feel about it personally, but it's definitely something that needs to be discussed from the Cowboys end. It is the one position where there is a lot of unknown and inexperienced. If one of their current safeties were to go down with an injury and miss any time, the whole defense would suffer.

As things stand right now, Jeff Heath is the only one who will reprise his starting role on the backend of the Cowboys defense. Behind him are Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier, but knowing exactly how they fit in at this moment is completely up in the air.

Unfortunately, that's the top three safeties for the Dallas Cowboys heading into the 2018 season. What's even more bothersome is their fourth might be an undrafted rookie, Tyree Robinson. I don't know about you, but I find that very concerning. But, maybe Kris Richard, the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator, knows something we don't.

Kris Richard

Dallas Cowboys DB Coach Kris Richard

Fortunately, Kris Richard was recently asked if he had any concerns about the safety position on the "Doomsday Podcast" with Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. He said he had "none".

"I'm confident. I feel really good at this point in time and it's because the level of character of our guys," he said. "We're going to get better. That's the deal because our guys are young, focused, I think the hunger's there. I love the look in their eyes. I love how everyone is buying in, is focused and paying attention to detail. It makes a difference when guys care. It makes a difference when each one wants to teach one. We're trying to build something special. We want to be tribe-like. We want to be more than a team."

It certainly sounds like Kris Richard is excited about the Dallas Cowboys current safeties. Of course, he would never just come out and say that this group is terrible or he wished they'd add Earl Thomas another available safety. That's just not how things work. He's here to coach up the guys on the roster and not worry about personnel moves.

I don't know about you, but I know I would feel a lot better if they had one more experienced safety who could come in and compete for a starting job. Maybe someone like Tre Boston or Kenny Vaccaro, who are still unsigned. Maybe make that trade for Earl Thomas? That's a dream that just won't die.

Regardless, the Dallas Cowboys need to do something to address their depth at the safety position. I don't know what their plans are moving forward, but hopefully they have a contingency plan in place. It's just smart business.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys need to add a safety before training camp?



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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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Timothy Zackery

    June 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Just as i thought from begin or free agency i wanted Eric Reid or Tre Boston, Kenny Vacarro or trade for Earl Thomas my thought hasn’t change at all. I still would love Navarro Bowman LB too.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 16, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      Tre Boston has been the safety I’ve wanted them to add, but I think they are kind of happy with what they have right now. We’ll see how things go moving forward.

  2. winstar

    June 16, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    I have noticed Richard saying on several occasions that he is happy with what he has. I’m also hoping Kam Kelly shows up. I got to believe if the talk in the coaches room was that there is a need then McClay would be turning the world over finding the right guy.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      I like the Cowboys current safeties as well, but I wish there was a little more experience. There is a lot of unknown about how Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier will perform with a larger role, perhaps as a starter. And, I don’t think Kam Kelly is playing much safety. I think they have him playing mostly CB.

      • Hammer33

        June 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

        I like who’s there, but. Going in with 3 is really not good for anybody. If the brought someone in that could beat out one of the projected starters then great, we have a very capable back up. Be it Heath or woods. Or that FA becomes very valuable for rotation or depth.

        I wonder if one of the FA won’t come in because they may have to compete for a starting role. All 3 of the primary available were starters. Ego may be playing a role, but it purely conjecture on my part.

        The other possibility is they like one of the starters and feel bringing in a vet could limit the progress of the other.

        Remember when Heath and Wilcox came in they let Allen go for that reason. They had one vet, church. Kept 3 rookies in Heath, Wilcox and Hamilton. Should be interesting.

        • Sexcdex Xfact

          June 17, 2018 at 9:15 pm

          Excellent

      • Sexcdex Xfact

        June 17, 2018 at 9:14 pm

        It’s not that I don’t feel good nor don’t trust Richard concerning the safety position,
        It’s the lack of “known depth”
        But we ARE on the outside looking in

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      June 17, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      Very valid point

  3. Stet Ross7777

    June 16, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    If We Don’t Add The Free Agents We Need On Defense As Follow : The Defensive Line Positions , Linebackers Positions , And , Our Secondary Position Number One Example Of A Team Who Wants To Win In 2018 The Los Angeles Rams If We Again Don’t Build Our Defense With Quality Veteran Free Agents We Will Be Heading For A 6 And 10 Record And / Or A 8 And 8 Record At Best ………. No Doubt!!!!!!!!

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      June 17, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      True
      Every team has revamped

      Very few, if any, has stood pact
      All the division leaders have complimented their strengths & strengthened their weaknesses

      We have to excel in personnel just to keep up not to mention prevails against them

  4. Steve

    June 17, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    I believe that moving Jones to CB was spot on, but it did leave that hole at safety that we NEED to be comfortable with going forward because as things stand at the moment I’m NOT at that level of comfort for the safety group and believe that we will either before camp bring someone in via trade and it may very well be Thomas! Or after camp realize that we just can’t be that force that we wanna be with the group we have currently! Richard has a voice with all this and I believe if he wanted to bring in Thomas then it WILL happen someway somehow, but if Thomas isn’t traded to our boys there’s a good reason and Richard has his reasons and we should be confident about why whether it’s to much money or whatever!

  5. Sexcdex Xfact

    June 17, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I agree in that Richard maybe being conservatively positive
    But
    I also feel be knows they not only needs more depth, but upgrades as well
    Dallas lost Church, Wilcox, Carr & Claiborne
    That’s 2staring safeties gone that have been replaced by rookies except Frazier
    Heath’s play-time increased because of loss if starters, face it, he never supplanted anyone

    I also agree Dallas need a very competent veteran on the back-end & although I’d love Earl, with the right price, I’d also feel better with a slightly younger but suitable safety, also not too pricey

    Dallas isn’t finished in that dept. Be it Earl Thomas or Boston or one of the other leading free agents
    I feel the same with the Tightend situation, I just can’t see them settling for this for the season

    If Jeff Heath was as dominant to actually bring stability we’d only be looking for depth
    But we’re uncertain,,,, BIGG DIFFERENCE
    We’re one injury away for chaos in the safety position
    That’s not how Philly built their SB team last year, they were well balanced to withstand losses across the board
    We were not prepared last year, & so far not so good this year

    • Hammer33

      June 18, 2018 at 5:49 am

      That’s true to a point. But it could be viewed that Heath supplanted church because they let him walk. They may have been looking to start Heath, who’s better in coverage, though not a strong against the run.

      Wilcox was never getting a second contract in Dallas.

      • Sexcdex Xfact

        June 18, 2018 at 4:10 pm

        Well, unless Jerry & Steven both lied
        They wanted to keep at least 2 of the secondary Church & Carr being named in interviews concerning not losing the free agents

        Both stability & not missing games were ideal for church & Carr

        But it simply Salary Cap Hell that forced them to let go
        Before they could figure up a proposal to both, they had sizeable offers Dallas simply couldn’t match

        Then they drafted 2DB’s with position-flex at both corner & safety in Woods & Awuzie

        Not to diminish Jeff Heath’s capabilities at all
        It just was too many expensive contracts,(bad business decisions), etc

        But things panned out just fine so far
        Except they didn’t take a safety at all where they are thinnest at
        And that’s not savy business either
        However I seriously doubt we’re done to say the least in addressing safety
        &
        Heath may STILL be a starter which I say best man up anyway
        I honestly want the absolute best 22players on the field at every snap of the football

        Now that our backs are no longer against the wall money wise, we can do just that

  6. Will

    June 21, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    The only one I’d be happy with is Tre Boston, barring the unicirn ET trade

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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