Injuries forced the Dallas Cowboys into playing role players in their starting lineup last season and for safety Danny McCray, it put him in a situation where he played more snaps than he should have. Before being thrust into the starting lineup, McCray was one of the best special team’s players in the NFL, but the extra playing time took a toll on McCray’s effectiveness and health as the season went on.
Heading into the 2013 season, McCray could be looking for a new team. Dallascowboys.com scout Bryan Broaddus reports that while McCray is a special team’s captain for the Cowboys, he could become expendable if the Cowboys find better safety play.
“I’m not saying they’re going to cut him but maybe they find somebody maybe a little bit cheaper, maybe a little bit better and they keep that player over Danny McCray.”
McCray is due $1.323 million this season and the Cowboys could be looking to trim some cap space. Dallas also has a good crop of young safeties on the roster including Barry Church, Matt Johnson and rookie J.J. Wilcox and perhaps the team is happy with that group of players. Pairing those safeties with Will Allen and Eric Frampton, who’s a very good special team’s player as well, and maybe the Cowboys don’t have the room for McCray.
Broaddus’ point is well taken and the Cowboys do have better options at safety than they’ve had in a long time but it’s difficult to see them releasing McCray. He’s a very good role player who has the ability to start in a pinch and is a special team’s maven so it’s hard to see the Cowboys cutting him. Special team’s is an important part of the game and McCray’s biggest value is on that unit.
At the very least, the Cowboys should watch the safety competition in training camp and then decide what is the best direction for both the safety position and their special team’s units. The Cowboys should keep the best players on those units regardless of price for the upcoming season.
The Dallas Cowboys should keep Danny McCray because of his importance and versatility to the team but it remains to be seen what will happen with the safety. Either way, it’s something to watch during training camp.