Over the past two weeks, I have went in-depth in examining the Dallas Cowboys’ roster by position. Today, we will be focusing on the last position: safety.
Many of the Cowboys’ defensive problems have arose due to the terrible play of their safeties. Despite Dallas using multiple draft picks on the position the past five years, they just can’t seem to find the right pairing for the back end of their defense. So, will the struggles continue in 2014?
Dallas’ best safety is Barry Church. What he lacks in coverage skills, he makes up for with his tackling. Last season, he led Dallas with 135 tackles. If Church can improve his coverage skills, he can possibly become the safety Dallas has been looking for.
The man starting opposite of Church for most of 2013 was Jeff Heath. Heath gave it his all, but the bottom line is that he’s not an NFL-caliber starter. He is a backup at best. If Dallas wants a different result in 2014, Heath cannot see the field as much as he did in 2013.
The guy that Dallas hopes can step into the starting safety spot is J.J. Wilcox. Wilcox recorded 38 tackles in limited play during his rookie season. The question is can he show that he is ready to be a starter in 2014? If the Cowboys want to improve on defense, they have to hope the answer is yes.
Then there is Matt Johnson. For the past two training camps, we have heard about how talented he is, and for the past two seasons he has gotten injured during training camp. I am sure we will be hearing from Jerry, Stephen, and Jason again this August, but unless Johnson can stay healthy until at least September, none of the talk will matter.
Finally, fans should keep an eye on undrafted rookie Ahmad Dixon out of Baylor. Dixon is a heavy hitter, but the thing I like the most about him is that he brings an attitude to the field that Dallas’ defense has been missing for a long time.
Dallas’ goal during training camp will be to find a pair of safeties who can be a formidable duo that will make the defense better in 2014. The question remains whether Dallas can find those two players on the current roster.