Gil Brandt ranked the Cowboys secondary as the fourth-biggest roster hole in the NFL

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Death, taxes, and the Dallas Cowboys refusing to devote serious resources to the safety position. To be fair to America’s Team now, they did sign Ha Ha Clinton-Dix this offseason. That, in itself, represents a bigger step in devotion to the safety spot than we’ve seen the Cowboys make in some time, but it still may not be enough.

Things have been weird for the Cowboys and finding a safety for a little bit now, weirder than usual. A year and change ago, we thought they were going to sign Earl Thomas, then focus shifted to them drafting someone like Juan Thornhill, and the latest fad is of course trading for Jamal Adams. There are a lot of wants and wishes from fans with no real action from the team.

As a result of Dallas focusing their attention elsewhere, their safety group is obviously not as renowned as the rest of their roster. Minds around the league have noticed, what else is new?

Gil Brandt ranked the Cowboys secondary as the fourth-biggest roster hole in the NFL

You’d be hard pressed to find someone that knows more about football than Pro Football Hall of Famer Gil Brandt. The GOAT knows about things past and present, and his opinion is always very valuable.

Mr. Brandt took to to discuss the biggest roster holes that currently exist across the league. The Dallas Cowboys popped up thanks to what they have, or rather haven’t, done at safety. Womp womp.

The franchise that once fielded safeties Cliff Harris, Darren Woodson and Roy Williams has not had a true impact player at either starting safety spot in a decade-plus. That drought will likely continue into 2020, unless Dallas trades for someone like Jamal Adams — but I wouldn’t hold my breath there. As much as this appears to be a position of need, the Cowboys don’t seem to agree, based on the fact that they’ve selected just one safety in the first two rounds since choosing Williams in 2002. The plan right now seems to be to stick with Xavier Woods — who has recorded just five total turnovers (four picks and one fumble recovery) over the past two seasons — and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who signed with the team and will reunite with new coach Mike McCarthy after their time together in Green Bay. Darian Thompson is the third safety at the moment, but he could be usurped by Chidobe Awuzie, if he’s able to move from corner to safety.

Corner is also unsettled, however, with no one standing out as an obvious No. 1 in the wake of Byron Jones’ departure to the Dolphins via free agency. Dallas will have to hope rookies Trevon Diggs (a second-round pick) and Reggie Robinson (a fourth-rounder) are able to push for starting spots and allow Awuzie to move, with Anthony BrownJourdan Lewis and Daryl Worley also vying for snaps. However it shakes out, the Cowboys must get more turnovers on the back end after tying for last with Detroit and Arizona in interceptions (seven). The uncertainty in the secondary will only make it more critical for DeMarcus Lawrence — who logged just five sacks in 2019 — and the defensive front to generate pressure.

The secondary as a whole is obviously a group of question (we named it as the one most likely to disappoint in 2020) despite the fact that the Cowboys drafted both Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson II just a few months ago. While those players are undoubtedly exciting prospects for the future, the here and now is very much up in the air.

Can a combination of Xavier Woods and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix really be enough at safety? And if it is, can Chidobe Awuzie be the team’s top cornerback with Byron Jones now in Miami? Chido and his fellow draftees Jourdan Lewis and the aforementioned Xavier Woods are all entering contract years this season, if the group is in question now what will it look like in 2021?

To make matters all the more interesting/terrifying the Cowboys have floated out the idea of moving a veteran cornerback to safety (the speculation is that it would be Awuzie). If Chido does move over, then the Cowboys could be forced to rely on one of their rookies at a very important position which could be problematic.


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