Will the Cardinals Target a Dallas Star?

The Cardinals struggled down the stretch, but the pool of available talent is one of the many reasons all eyes are on next year. They may look to hammer in the optimism by picking up a Dallas safety, but the Cowboys will give the Cardinals a fight. Arizona may also look to Kansas and South Florida for secondary help.

The front office must continue to effectively evaluate players and add talent in preparation for a playoff push in 2008. The most glaring need for Arizona is on the defensive side of the ball, the secondary in particular. The Cardinals ranked 27th in the NFL, giving up 399 points and 232 passing yards per game.

Arizona's secondary suffered a huge blow in Week 10 when All Pro safety Adrian Wilson went down with an Achilles injury. Wilson is a major weapon for defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast because of his versatility and blitzing ability.

Aaron Francisco showed promise filling in after recovering from a calf injury, but Wilson's return will be critical to the Cardinal's defense next year. Starting CB Eric Green also went down with a season-ending injury and was placed on injured-reserve after Week 12.

Making matters worse were the struggles of free agent pickup Terrence Holt. Holt failed to make the impact the staff had hoped for after signing him to a multi-year contract last off-season. After picking off five passes in his last two seasons with the Lions, Holt failed to make an interception in his first year in the desert.

Another option for Arizona could involve moving CB Antrel Rolle to safety. Rolle was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2005 draft but has struggled at the cornerback position.

Arizona goes into the off season with roughly $30 million in cap space. Certainly, acquiring help in the secondary will be a vital task. One name that has surfaced is Dallas safety Ken Hamlin. Hamlin spent his first four NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before signing a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

Nicknamed "The Hammer" Hamlin is known for his hard hitting and play-making ability. Over the course of his five-year career, he has intercepted 13 passes and forced four fumbles.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Dallas may be in position to lock down Hamlin with a long-term deal. The Cowboys are looking to secure help in the secondary and will likely make a hard run at re-signing the former second-round pick.

Arizona could also seek to improve its secondary through the draft. This year's defensive back class is both deep and talented. South Florida CB Mike Jenkins and Kansas CB Aqib Talib could be available when the Cardinals are on the clock with the 16th pick.

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