Dallas went into the 2019 NFL Draft with the fanbase expecting them to draft according to a particular strategy. Targeting safeties early in the draft would be priority number one, and by bringing in prospects like Taylor Rapp and Juan Thornhill as pre-draft visitors, this seemed to be the exact plan Dallas would put in place.
Instead, they went with UCF defensive tackle Trysten Hill 58th overall, and neglected to take a safety until the sixth round, where they drafted Texas A&M’s Donovan Wilson. Now the league really thinks the Cowboys have a safety problem, and Stephen Jones has spoke to the possibility of using a current area of depth on the roster to solve it.
Jones said that the Cowboys have been “getting a few calls” from teams around the league, particularly about player swaps that would bring the Cowboys a new safety. He also added that these teams recognize where the Cowboys are strongest, and would be looking to get a player from those deeper position groups.
“People needing things and knowing that we might need, thinking that we might need a safety, would we be willing to trade this player for that player.” – Stephen Jones
Likely, he is referencing the offensive and defensive lines. Dallas took yet another offensive lineman in the third round of this year’s draft, and now boasts one of the most potent position groups in all of football. Being that it seems most NFL teams are offensive line-needy, it makes sense they’d look to the Cowboys for trade options.
But just how desperate do the Cowboys perceive themselves to be at safety?
They signed veteran safety George Iloka during free agency, and have a lot of faith in now third year defensive back Xavier Woods to be the full time free safety. Jeff Heath has been around the team for quite some time, and though he’s done well in limited doses, he tends to get exposed when asked to contribute too much.
Then they drafted Donovan Wilson in the sixth round, and if Will McClay’s comments about him via The Draft Show mean anything, the Cowboys have faith he can develop into a starting caliber box safety for them in the future.
That future is not now, however, and it is likely far from now. Safety just might be the Cowboys weakest position group at the moment, but when you consider how well-rounded the rest of their roster is, that statement isn’t nearly as detrimental as it may sound. After all a group that includes Xavier Woods as a starter cannot really be considered a bad one, though the depth behind Woods is certainly questionable.
Very questionable. Iloka’s best days are probably behind him and Jeff Heath’s abilities leave much to be desired.
If I were running the Cowboys, Juan Thornhill would have likely been the pick 58th overall. If much of Cowboys Nation were running the Cowboys, that Thornhill pick would have been made as well. But they went with Hill, and now they must live with what they have at the safety position.