The Dallas Cowboys have done a good job building their defense this offseason. Rookies Trevon Diggs, Reggie Robinson, and Bradlee Anae could all see significant roles early. In free agency, they added veteran defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe to buffer their defensive front.
The safety position has been one of frustration for a while in Dallas. Xavier Woods has the keys at free safety, but with Jeff Heath going to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Cowboys needed an upgrade on the other side. They didn’t wait until the NFL Draft instead they signed veteran Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to a one-year deal in free agency.
Clinton-Dix enjoyed quite a bit of success with the Green Bay Packers under new Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy after being the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. In 10 starts, Clinton-Dix played well enough to make PFWA’s All-Rookie team. His best season came in 2016 when he had a career-high five interceptions and was selected to the Pro Bowl and was named second-team All-Pro.
He would be traded to the Washington Redskins in October of 2018 for a 2019 first-round pick. Clinton-Dix recorded 66 tackles in his nine starts with the team.
Last offseason he signed a one-year, 5.5 million dollar deal with the Chicago Bears where he registered 78 tackles, five pass breakups, and two interceptions.
Clinton-Dix brings steady production to the safety spot for the Cowboys with 522 career tackles (87 per season), 33 pass breakups, 16 interceptions, 5.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. More importantly, he brings versatility having played both safety spots so if Woods, unfortunately, misses any time he can fill right in at free safety.
Another important attribute of Clinton-Dix is his availability. In his six-year career, he’s started 90 of a possible 96 games.
The hope is that Clinton-Dix is a step up from the days of having Heath opposite Woods. He’s on a one-year deal so the motivation is there for him to prove himself and possibly earn another decent payday in the near future. Will he ball out in Dallas? Only time will tell.