The Dallas Cowboys defense is a bad unit right now.
Unable to create pass rush from anyone not named DeMarcus Lawrence, and unable to get any type of consistent linebacker play from anyone not named Sean Lee, the Cowboys simply cannot make stops when they need to most.
Now, after failing the offense on Sunday and allowing 35 points in their own building, I believe it is time for a change at the safety position.
At cornerback, the Cowboys have actually been okay. Jourdan Lewis looks like the team’s best corner, Anthony Brown has had some impressive flashes, and Chidobe Awuzie gave us reasons to be excited when healthy.
At safety, however, the Cowboys have not bee good enough.
As anyone who has read my work before knows, I am a huge Byron Jones fan. Going into the season I stated that Jones was the second best player on the Cowboys defense. I also believe he is one of the more underrated and underappreciated players in the NFL.
So far this year, he has had some great moments, but has also had some bad moments (specifically against Denver). Still, Jones is this team’s best current option for his position. I may be open to letting him play corner if Awuzie can play safety, but that’s a discussion for another time.
The change that needs to be made, is starting rookie Xavier Woods over veteran Jeff Heath.
Heath has become a fan favorite over the years, seeming to always be at the right place at the right time for takeaways and important plays. But he has simply been bad this season, and a change at his position is warranted.
Heath’s angles when coming downhill to tackle have been poor, and his coverage has left much to be desired. Rookie Xavier Woods, however, looks like the team’s best safety already when on the field.
By allowing Xavier Woods to play and grow with fellow rookies Lewis and Awuzie, as well as with Byron Jones and Anthony Brown, the Cowboys will get a look at their secondary of the future right now.
I believe it is time for Woods to get the nod over Heath. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it is realistic to expect the change be made this early in the season. If Heath continues to start, and this defense continues to struggle, then it may be too late for the Cowboys’ season once the coaches finally make the switch.
Let’s hope they wake up sooner rather than later.