Free Agency: Hope Makes Sense

A quick look around the National Football League reveals this free agent out of Pittsburgh is an ideal candidate to become a Dallas Cowboy in the coming weeks.

This has to be one of the best times of year to be a Dallas Cowboys fan.

Why? For starters, owner Jerry Jones isn't going to stand pat when he knows his team is on the verge of making a deep playoff run, especially when there is plenty of help available in free agency.

After all, the Cowboys aren't your typical team in the National Football League. Assuming they're not in some kind of salary cap hell, they're going to make noise when it comes to improving their chances for the following season.

This year, some of that noise will come from the defensive backfield, where the team will look to bring additional help at free safety.

Sure, you've heard the song and dance by now, "Keith Davis is an excellent special teams performer but not quite good enough in coverage situations to do the job on a fulltime basis."

Hope recorded 96 tackles and three interceptions for the Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers.
Anybody who halfway understands the game of football understands that statement. We all know it.

Furthermore, we know that Roy Williams is the Cowboys lethal weapon at strong safety, but he needs a complimentary ballhawk that can cover opposing receivers deep downfield when needed.

Guess what? The Cowboys really needed that player last year.

And that brings us to the 2006 offseason and free agency.

One of the players headlining Cowboys' current wish list is Pittsburgh safety Chris Hope (5-11, 206). Hope isn't the biggest player in the league, but he's a smart player that reads the action going on in front of him very well. In addition, his production has increased every year he's been in the league. He has also played in the 3-4 defense in Pittsburgh and has proven to be a "team player."

And oh by the way, he's coming from a Super Bowl Championship team- which doesn't hurt.

Originally drafted out of Florida State in 2002 (third round/94th overall selection), it's safe to say that Hope has filled his role adequately during his four seasons as in the steel city. In a secondary that features the hard-hitting Roy Williams, a lockdown corner in Terence Newman, the savvy Anthony Henry and veteran Aaron Glenn, that's all the Cowboys really need.

And now, as teams from around the National Football League begin to entice unrestricted free agents, the Cowboys will undoubtedly set their sights on the four-year veteran Hope.

Of course, the sticking point boils down to cost. How much would it take to sign Chris Hope?

Considering the Cowboys will have to address their free safety need in either free agency or the draft, and that Hope is a consistent four-year veteran that has remained mostly injury-free throughout his career, the anticipated cost would likely be worth it.

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