Should the Dallas Cowboys Add Another Safety Before Training Camp?

When the Dallas Cowboys sat on the clock with the 58th pick in the draft nearly two weeks ago, Juan Thornhill, Nasir Adderly, and Taylor Rapp were available. The Cowboys opted to take Defensive Tackle Trysten Hill with their second round pick. If there’s an area on the Dallas Cowboys’ defense that has a weakness it’s still at the safety position.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Cowboys were willing to pass on a safety, they’ve been adamant that they like the guys in the room that they have, especially Xavier Woods. After signing George Iloka and drafting Donovan Wilson, it would seem that the Cowboys are ready to head into OTA’s and minicamp with their current safety depth chart.

Yesterday, Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones let it be known that teams around the NFL have inquired about the Dallas Cowboys interest in trading for a safety.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said they have been receiving calls from multiple teams about trading for players on their roster. Those teams have been checking to see if the Cowboys are interested in adding a safety

And then there was this from Stephen Jones.

Kate Hairopoulos on Twitter

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said they’ve received calls since the draft from teams interested in some of their players, teams floating the idea Dallas needs a safety. Club isn’t in a hurry to act.

The team is really excited about the future of Safety Xavier Woods, the club’s sixth round pick in 2017. His coverage and tackling skills as the deep safety will be a tremendous asset to a team that is developing one of the best defenses in the NFL.

In the Cowboys post-draft press conference it was made even more clear that the team felt better taking the 3-technique defensive tackle at 58. They subscribe to the theory that a really good pass rush makes a secondary better.

When Will McClay joined The Draft Show, he mentioned the Cowboys won 10 regular season games with Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath as their primary safeties. He’s got a point. The only reason people are clamoring for safety upgrade is because the Dallas Cowboys were destroyed in the running game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Perhaps they see it as I do. If the front seven wasn’t getting beat as badly as they got beat by the Rams running game, then we wouldn’t be talking about the need to upgrade the safety position, primarily the box safety position.

If you read this space, you know my affection for now Kansas City Chiefs Safety Juan Thornhill, but I understand why they went the direction they did. If they saw Xavier Woods as a potential star, as Kris Richard is reported to believe, then Thornhill’s future with the Dallas Cowboys would have been at cornerback.

New NFL Network Analyst and Former Cleveland Browns All-Pro Offensive Tackle Joe Thomas believes the Cowboys should look at a particular veteran safety: Eric Berry. It’s a move that would make sense as they’ve already met with him this offseason and now Berry wouldn’t figure into their 2020 compensatory draft picks.

Blogging The Boys on Twitter

@joethomas73 thinks the Cowboys should go get a certain free agent safety that is still available… (via @nflnetwork)

Berry’s coming off a season where he only played two games and has struggled with injuries and illness in seasons prior. Any contract with Berry would start at the veteran minimum with incentives for games played and production. That said, adding Berry now would make it more difficult to see what you already have int he guys on the depth chart.

With Xavier Woods expected to remain the starter at free safety and Jeff Heath, George Iloka, Kavon Frazier, and Donovan Wilson competing for snaps at strong safety, the Cowboys have a pretty crowded depth chart at the moment. The Cowboys really like the tools that Donovan Wilson brings to the table, but he has some technique things that he needs to refine to be ready to play a significant role in the NFL.

They shouldn’t trade for someone unless they find an obvious upgrade and it doesn’t require a ton of draft capital. They should let OTA’s, minicamp, and training camp play out before they make any more moves on the roster, especially safety.

The Cowboys defense is going to be really good again in 2019. They’ve got good players at pretty much every position, except their strong safety spot. Competition and coaching at that position could lead to a really good player emerging to solidify the secondary. Like Rod Marinelli along the defensive line, we know that Kris Richard will find a way to maximize the talent that he’s got on the roster.

In 2018, the Dallas Cowboys defense was really good. Heading into 2019, they are on the verge of greatness, even with a perceived weakness at safety.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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