January 24, 2022

GridIron365

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Analyst describes Dallas Cowboys safety situation as ‘a mess right now’

3 min read


The safety position for the Dallas Cowboys has been a controversial topic for years now. That’s mainly due to a severe lack of investment at the position with a pair of former sixth-rounders in Xavier Woods and Donovan Wilson starting at the position just last season.

But with the recent hiring of Dan Quinn as the team’s new defensive coordinator, that was a trend that appeared to have changed. The former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons brought with him to Dallas a couple familiar faces this offseason in free-agent safeties Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee.

Although Neal was immediately shifted to linebacker, he certainly has the ability to move back to safety if needed earning a Pro Bowl nod at the position back in 2017. But the acquisition of Kazee seemed to be the more impactful move.

In 2018, Kazee led all NFL safeties with seven interceptions. Just to put that number in perspective, the last time the Cowboys had any player record seven or more picks in a single season it was cornerback Everson Walls with nine interceptions back in 1985. But Kazee is also coming off a season-ending Achilles injury that limited him to four games in 2020.

By adding a ball-hawking playmaker in Kazee to a safety depth chart in Dallas that already included fellow free-agent signee Jayron Kearse, last year’s starter in Donovan Wilson, plus veterans Darian Thompson, Steven Parker, and rookies Tyler Coyle and Israel Mukuamu; it appeared Quinn had a good amount of talent to work with.

But apparently, it isn’t enough as news broke on Friday that the team was once again visiting with free-agent safety Malik Hooker. The former first-round selection by the Indianapolis Colts originally meet with the Cowboys back in March but Dallas opted to sign Kazee instead.

The fact the Cowboys have circled back to Hooker and appear to be on track to sign him next week if his medicals check out could be a sign that the coaching staff in Dallas isn’t happy with the current state of the position.

In fact, one former NFL scout and longtime Cowboys analyst now with 105.3 The Fan, Bryan Broaddus, actually referred to the safety position in Dallas as looking “like a mess right now” via Twitter.

Obviously, it’s still very early in the process as training camp in Oxnard just kicked off and there are plenty of unanswered questions that still need to be answered about every position. But the scramble to sign Hooker right now could be interpreted in a couple of different ways.

The 25-year old safety is certainly very talented when healthy, earning himself a
79.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2018 after playing in a career-high 14 games. Unfortunately, Hooker hasn’t been healthy for a good portion of his professional career missing all but two games just last season after tearing his Achilles.

By potentially signing Malik Hooker, the Dallas Cowboys would infuse some much-needed talent into their safety depth chart. But the fact the team is even considering adding a player with his extensive injury history could throw up some red flags about how the Cowboys actually view their current roster at the safety position.

Analyst describes Cowboys safety situation as ‘a mess right now’



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