Dallas Cowboys: 3 Players to proactively re-sign this summer

Xavier Woods #25 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Xavier Woods #25 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Xavier Woods #25 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys Player to Re-sign No. 1: Xavier Woods


Age: 24

Xavier Woods is one of the Dallas Cowboys best recent late-round success stories. Drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Xavier Woods was an quick fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. The high-value prospect became an instant contributor his rookie season, splitting time between box safety and slot corner. Rated as one of Pro Football Focus’ best rookie cornerbacks in the NFL, Woods specialized in man coverage and reliable tackling.

Woods eventually became a 2-year starter at safety for Dallas, moving out of the box and into the center field role the Cover-1/Cover-3 single high defense Kris Richard is known for. Now the young buck is at a crossroads in his career. One season away from free agency, he’s dropped into a new scheme with new coaches. If he succeeds, he’ll parlay that into an enormous multi-year contract. If he plateaus he’ll likely follow a similar journeyman path through the NFL like first-year teammate, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Cowboys fans are generally bullish on Woods’ breakout this season. With better safety play next to him and more variance and deception in coverages, the table has been set for him to feast. If the Dallas Cowboys can lock him in to a modest deal BEFORE he breaks out on the national stage, they could save a bundle at the safety position. If they wait until after his breakout season, they’ll find themselves bidding against the market at an inflated rate and may ultimately be unable to retain him.

It’s important to point out, many in-the-know folks predicted a breakout from Woods last season. While Woods may not have fallen on his face, he also didn’t breakout in anyway. One could say he plateaued.

Pro Football Focus rated Woods as the NFL’s 23rd rated safety. Considering there’s basically 64 starting NFL safeties, that’s not a bad place to be. But if we’re all being honest, it’s not what we expected. Once again, most are expecting Woods to take the next step here in 2020.

Considering his ability to man cover as a cornerback, line up in box as safety, and play the deep single safety role, he’s an extremely versatile player who has very little bust potential. Maybe he never will reach the next level and this is all he is: a Pretty good NFL safety.

If the Dallas Cowboys can lock him into a salary that fits it may be time to offer him a new multi-year deal.