Dallas Cowboys: Who will start at safety in 2018?

Xavier Woods #25 (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Xavier Woods #25 (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are putting together a plan for their safety situation. Will that plan involve a trade? Let’s take a look at the situation.

The Dallas Cowboys have some big questions to answer prior to the start of the 2018 regular season. None of those questions may be as big as, who will start at safety in the Cowboys defensive backfield.

There are plenty of options and some suitable role players on this roster, but who will it be Week One? Let’s take a look at some of the options in the defensive backfield for Dallas.

Scenario 1: Starter is already on the roster

The Dallas Cowboys likely already have (or are grooming) several players to have a starting role in the secondary. Jeff Heath comes to mind immediately as someone coaches seem to be alright with carrying the load.

His three interceptions in 2017 were one of the highest totals on the team. Xavier Woods only recorded one interception and even though he is clearly still learning the position it would be tough to place him in a starting role this season.

Behind Woods and Heath are basically filler players (besides Kavon Frazier and Kameron Kelly). Kelly, in particular, is somewhat interesting as he has had a pretty stellar showing all offseason, he could be the Dallas Cowboys sleeper pick to start at safety this season. If not any of these players than I believe it is pretty obvious what the Cowboys are going to do come training camp.

Scenario 2: A trade

Let me start this off with the caveat that this trade does not have to involve Earl Thomas. Do I think he is at the top of the list, of course. But when it comes down to it, unless Thomas agrees to an extension, I just think there are too many hoops to jump through.

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Thomas has stated that he wants to end his career in Dallas however he could easily wait a season and become a free agent to do this. The urgency behind making a deal for Thomas comes from two places. A) Thomas could demand a higher price on the open market/ B) The Cowboys could certainly use an All-Pro safety who can help lead this secondary to greener pastures. 

Now the Cowboys could realize that the Seattle Seahawks are asking for too much, and pursue a trade for a safety on another team, preferably a cheaper one. Trading for a guy like Tony Jefferson, Jabrill Peppers, or Obi Melifonwu could be a bit more economical for the Dallas Cowboys.                                                                                                                                    

Scenario 3: Free agent addition

This is the most unlikely as the Cowboys have passed on every free agent safety so far this offseason. There is a second wave of releases coming as we get into training camp and preseason games so it is possible some talent slips through the cracks.

It is unlikely that names such as Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, or Tre Boston join the roster anytime soon. The Dallas Cowboys appear to have a vision on how the front office wants to develop this team and free agent additions this late in the offseason seem fairly unnecessary.

The bottom line is that unless an Earl Thomas trade happens, the Dallas Cowboys will likely roll into this season with the players they have on their roster and see what happens. In reality, it seems like the most effective way of handling the situation. Trading for Earl Thomas has a ton of risk, but could also provide a huge reward for a team looking to make a deep playoff run.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: Who will be the teams X factor on offense?

Only time will tell how this defensive back driven saga will play out, hopefully, Thomas can find his way back to Texas.