5. Jayron Kearse, Safety
When Dan Quinn took over, he made sure the Cowboys finally took the safety position seriously. For whatever reason, the front office made sure to use nearly no resources whatsoever on the position — and they would then spend the entire offseason wondering why they couldn't stop the pass.
Quinn changed this when he was able to get them to sign Malik Hooker, Damontae Kazee, and Jayron Kearse in the same offseason. Of the three signings, Kearse was easily the one who garnered the least amount of attention.
Hooker was a former first-round pick who was coming off an Achilles injury. Everyone knew if he could get healthy, he would be a weapon and that wound up happening in time. Kazee was also coming off an Achilles injury but was a ball hawk under Quinn in Atlanta. He played the entire season that year but wasn't a major factor.
As for Kearse, he seemed to bring a whole new attitude to the entire defense. His physical approach was contagious and he had 101 tackles with three picks. All three safeties were on one-year deals in 2021 and Hooker and Kearse received extensions. Kearse will once again hit the open market as his two-year deal is expiring but he's also coming off a disappointing season.
His effectiveness dropped some in 2023 and while he still had 72 tackles and a pick, he wasn't as explosive. Set to turn 30, there's a belief he's on the way out. If so, it will be tough to see him walk since he brought so much swagger to the secondary.