Dallas Cowboys: Neglecting the safety position is worse than we realized

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Even after free agency, the Dallas Cowboys have needs all across their roster this offseason. They need a stoutness on their interior defensive line they need new blood at the linebacker position, Dallas even has to find a Day 1 starter at cornerback as well. And if we’re all being honest with ourselves, it wouldn’t hurt if they had some developing talent at the offensive tackle position.

But what about safety?

The Dallas Cowboys have signed a trio of veterans to round out their safety ranks this offseason. It’s pretty much the same thing they do every offseason. They recognize the need at safety, they fill it with a bargain free agent, and then they act surprised things didn’t turn out.

The Dallas Cowboys have been ignoring one of the most important positions in football for years

We all know what the Dallas Cowboys should dedicate some premium resources to the position. They should either sign a free agent at the top of his game, or draft one with an early pick. But after years of franchise neglect, and repeatedly signing one-year place setters, we ourselves have started to downplay the need.

The reality is, safety is one of the most irreplaceable positions on the field. Wins above replacement, a metric that essentially measures value-added and replaceablity, has safety as the third most irreplaceable position on the field (just behind QB and WR). Perhaps that why the Cowboys have had such a hard time replacing it.

But that doesn’t explain their unwillingness to try. Year after year we see Dallas stare a viable safety option in the eyes, only to pass him over and draft a lesser player instead. It’s caused countless headaches, seasons upon seasons.

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Will this be the year things change for the Dallas Cowboys? We really have no way of knowing. Much like run-stopping defensive tackles, safety seems to be a position the Cowboys prefer to fill with replaceable parts. They’ve been burnt in the past, so perhaps they just don’t see safety as a wise investment.  Or perhaps their past coaching staff’s just prioritize other positions and things will change now with Dan Quinn running the show. We really don’t know.

What we do know is that Dallas has chronically neglected the post for roughly 20 years. If you get a good one, it can give you an enormous advantage. Good safeties are tough to avoid after all. In Dallas’ single high looks, it could be one of the most impactful positions on the field (per WAR) covering multiple weaknesses elsewhere.

While other teams are out there investing in safeties, trying to find their franchise golden goose defensive back, the Cowboys aren’t even playing the game. They’re ignoring a vital position and pushing their resources elsewhere.

Next. Cowboys Draft: 7 Different Safeties in 7 Different Rounds. dark

The Dallas Cowboys have been inexplicably ignoring one of the most important positions in the game and we don’t know why. Will things change this year?

  • Published on 04/05/2021 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 04/04/2021 at 23:44 PM