Dallas Cowboys: With little outside interest, could Xavier Woods be back?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The free agent market has not gone as planned for free agent safety Xavier Woods. After starting at safety for the past three seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, the former sixth round pick was supposed to cash in this offseason on the open market. Instead, all he’s heard are crickets.

Ranked as the 11th best remaining free agent on the market by Pro Football Focus, Xavier Woods finds himself stuck in bad market that’s flooded with talent and short on cash. In a world where Anthony Harris only garners a $5 million payday, things look bleak for the maligned safety.

So without other options, could the Dallas Cowboys bring back Xavier Woods on the cheap?

I can already responses: Versions of “Heck no” are sure to litter comment section. It’s understandable too. Xavier Woods committed the cardinal sin by saying he didn’t play “full-speed for 70 plays.”


In what can only be categorized as “the dumbest thing anyone ever said”, Woods alienated himself with fans, and summoned the full fury of Cowboys Nation upon himself.  Many called for his immediate release, others wanted to bench him. Very few supported him and even fewer wanted him to be re-signed.

So to say I’m offering up an unpopular roster move here, is a bit of an understatement.

Unforgivable sin?

It’s important to point out, what Woods said wasn’t incorrect, per say. Football players who are on the field for 70+ snaps don’t go all-out every play. We see receivers go through the motions, we see linemen take plays off, and we even see defensive backs go less than 100 percent.

The idea is obviously not to coast when the ball and/or play is coming to you, of course, but every player on the field has let up on plays here or there if they aren’t directly involved. It’s expected and it should go unsaid. Even Marcus Spears in the clip above recognizes that in his hilarious and well deserved outrage towards Woods.

But alas, Woods said it. He said in a losing effort. He said during his worst individual season. He said in the middle of one of the most disappointing Cowboys seasons in years. What on earth was the thinking?

At the end of the day, though, it’s the words we’re upset with. Woods has played 86% or more of the Dallas Cowboys defensive snaps over the past three seasons. Many of that as the last line of defense in a single high safety look.

If he was less than full-speed for a play, it wasn’t because he was lazy – it was because he was conserving energy for when he was alone in center field.

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Last year was bad for a lot of the Dallas Cowboys defenders. But only a year ago Woods was listed by PFF as the most underrated player on the Cowboys. At that point his coverage grade was ninth in the NFL amongst safeties and he was succeeding with some pretty questionable talent around him.

Xavier Woods is a good player. He’s not a Pro Bowler but he’s not a bum either. It would have been nice for the Cowboys to have upgraded the spot this offseason, but the talent has dried up and even if Dallas brings in one of those FS they’ve been courting, they aren’t necessarily better than Woods has been.

If the market really is garbage for Woods right now, maybe Dallas can sign him to a small one-year deal were he can remake his image? Maybe the Cowboys can build up the position group a little more and not have to use him on 89% of the snaps again? Maybe they can keep their safeties fresh and rotate them like they do the defensive line?

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I wouldn’t rule out re-signing Xavier Woods just because of some idiotic comments he made last season. If he can get him for a steal, I’d welcome him back with open arms. Ok, I’m braced. Let me have it Cowboys Nation…

  • Published on 03/25/2021 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 03/25/2021 at 13:22 PM