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Why are Cowboys Continuing to Play With Fire Opposite Xavier Woods?

Cowboys’ safety position still in flux heading into Week 3.

Despite entering Week 3 of the 2020 season, the Dallas Cowboys continue to carousel players in and out of the lineup opposite Safety Xavier Woods. For whatever reason they still haven’t been able to find the right player to pair with Woods, which sadly means this rotation will likely continue until someone emerges from the pack. At least, that’s what Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan indicated recently.

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Cowboys rotated Darian Thompson, Brandon Carr and Daryl Worley at safety Sunday opposite Xavier Woods. DC Mike Nolan would like to commit to one once someone jumps out. Not there yet. “At this point right now, we’re going to continue to work those guys.”

If you ask me, the Dallas Cowboys are playing with fire sticking with this rotation. And, we all know what happens when you play with fire…you’re going to end up getting burned.

That’s exactly what’s been happening to the Dallas Cowboys secondary so for this season. They’ve looked outmatched the first two weeks this season and a lot of that has to do with the safety position still being unsettled. The ongoing rotation could provide the solution, or maybe someone from the outside is the answer.

No offense to Darian Thompson, Brandon Carr, or Daryl Worley, but the fact none of them have been able to lock up the job by now is pretty telling in my opinion. Granted Carr just rejoined the Dallas Cowboys a few weeks ago, but still he’s been a cornerback majority of his career before making the switch to safety out of necessity last year with the Baltimore Ravens.

I honestly believe the Dallas Cowboys might be best served to look outside the organization to find Xavier Woods’ counterpart. It’s time for them to quit expecting a backup who was incapable of outplaying Jeff Heath (Darian Thompson) or two CBs trying to convert to safety (Brandon Carr, Daryl Worley) as starting caliber players and turn to someone who’s actually proven themselves capable of doing the job.

I know the first name that will pop into your head is Earl Thomas, and rightfully so. For whatever reason, good or bad, he’s still available on the open market. He would no doubt come in and solidify the position, however, the Cowboys don’t really seem to be interested in going that route. Surprisingly enough though, there are some other pretty good options out there besides ET.

Tony Jefferson, Reshad Jones, and Eric Reid would also probably be upgrades if paired with Xavier Woods. Both Jones and Reid are proven Pro Bowl players and Jefferson has had quite a bit of success himself with both the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens. Like Earl Thomas, all three makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys.

I really don’t know how much longer the Dallas Cowboys can afford to sit on their hands waiting for someone to emerge opposite Xavier Woods. They need someone to solidify the position as soon as possible. Looking outside the organization may or may not be the answer, however, promoting from within might not be either. Whatever they decide to do needs to be done quickly.

Who do you think the Dallas Cowboys should start opposite Xavier Woods?

What do you think?


Written by Brian Martin

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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  1. If Carr, Worley or Thompson haven’t worked yet why not give Reggie Robinson a try. You took the kid in the 4th round. Get him some game experience. At least at this point we can say we tried aeveryone before we go to the FA market

  2. The Cowboys have been brain farting the safety position for years now. I don’t expect them to find a clue on this issue any time soon. Their inattentiveness to this position demonstrates a mind set about the position in general.

  3. Did everybody all of a sudden forget about Donovan Wilson!? He’s a true safety and I’m sure he would be better than the corners we have trying to turn into safeties!! He mite even turn out to be better than Darian Thompson!! I really don’t understand why he’s not getting an opportunity to play!!

  4. It may be difficult to committ salary cap money to safety with so man injuries popping up elsewhere on the team. I say get Earl. (wish we had Jamal Adams). Earl can help you get your defense off of the field.

  5. Get ET for the short term. Nobody fears going across the middle against this secondary. After the game Sunday, whisper in Jamal Adams ,ear we are coming to get you in free agency…. so don’t sign long term in Seattle.

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