Dallas Cowboys Round 4, Pick 115
Tariq Thompson, SAF
San Diego State
The Dallas Cowboys have been fairly busy this offseason addressing their safety ranks. They signed both Atlanta safeties (Keano Neal will split time between WILL and SS while Kazee will play FS) and signed Jayron Kearse for depth. Add in projected top-3 starter Donovan Wilson, and you have a decent depth chart for the 2021 season.
But beyond this season, Dallas is essentially back to where they started – with the cupboards bare. So it makes sense they draft a Day 3 guy or two to groom for next year.
Tariq Thompson is a guy who’s pretty high on the “sleeper” lists because of his versatility and playmaking skills.
He played close to the line often at San Diego State either as a box safety or as a slot cornerback (there’s significant overlap between the two) and could step in and serve the same role immediately for the Dallas Cowboys. Fans will remember that’s exactly what Dallas did with Xavier Woods in his rookie year as they groomed him to take on a more traditional role on the backend.
Thompson, a four year starter, has shown durability, ball-skills, and leadership over his career. He’s also four-time Mountain West All-Conference player. At 6-foot 200lbs he’s not exceptionally large for a safety, but he’s an aggressive and an accomplished tackler who’s not afraid to stick his face in the fan.
He’s a good fit in Dallas because of his diverse skill set and the Cowboys unknown future at the safety position. They really have no idea what the spot will look like going forward and it’ll be very handy to have a guy like Thompson who can fit so many defensive back roles.