Safety Help Should Come Via Draft

A quick glance across the ever-shrinking free agency landscape in the National Football League leads to an easy deduction regarding the Cowboys' off-season strategy at free safety.

Or least, it should to the average football fan.

With the recent signings of Chris Hope by the Tennessee Titans, and Will Demps by the New York Giants, there just isn't much out there to help the Dallas Cowboys when it comes to filling their 2006 free safety needs.

Sure, former Texans DB Marcus Coleman is a serviceable player, and his agent has even contacted Dallas about a potential move, but he's nearing the end of his career and wasn't good enough to see the field last year for the lowly Texans (He was also benched late last season after missing a walk-through practice.)

Of course, his agent Jimmy Sexton, is also the agent of Cowboys coach Bill Parcells. That link has proved to be helpful in year's past.

But the Cowboys need to do something more than just adding an aging veteran this year when it comes to addressing their free safety concerns. They need youth. They need speed. They need talent.

They need to look towards the draft.

Yes, the draft. Remember the other way to improve your team during the off-season? Most fans seem to forget this time of year. If you live in Cleveland or Washington, you're probably wondering how your team will even be able to afford paying its draft picks.

But if you live in Dallas, you know the Cowboys should be in position to address their needs on the offensive line, safety, and maybe even quarterback during next month's draft.

In fact, the Cowboys should be in position to trade down, add more picks, and still be able to select one of their top targets at multiple positions.

Many of those targets will be at free safety, where a host of quality players should be available from the end of the first round when the Cowboys go on the clock with the No. 18 pick, all the way to the end of the fourth.

Texas' Michael Huff, Nebraska's Daniel Bullocks, South Carolina's Ko Simpson, and Ohio State's Donte Whitner are just a few prospects on the radar of the Cowboys right now. In fact, Huff, Bullocks and Whitner have already been interviewed extensively by Dallas, and Simpson would certainly be on the proverbial radar after his incredible two-year stint at South Carolina combine with a good showing at the NFL Scouting Combine last month.

Taking a step back to look at the big picture, keep in mind the Cowboys already have the makings of an outstanding secondary. SS Roy Williams looks to be a Pro-bowler for years to come. CB Terence Newman is coming off his best year in the league, and veteran Anthony Henry is strong in run support and consistent in all areas of the game.

The only part lacking is at free safety.

Keith Davis did what he could last season as a starter, but both he and the Cowboys' would be better served with him being utilized as a special teams ace and second-team safety.

Furthermore, given the considerable experience and talent already being stockpiled in the secondary, and given that there just aren't many viable options in free agency, the Cowboys must look towards the draft next month for help.

Doing anything else puts the position in the hands of either an aging veteran with only a year or two left in the tank, or a player with less talent than what would be available during the draft.

Judging by what we've seen so far from the organization in free agency, picking up aging veterans doesn't seem to be too popular an idea.

It shouldn't be at free safety either.

CowboysHQ Top Stories