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Mailbag: Where’s The Investment In High Profile Safeties?
Why is it the Cowboys hardly invest in a big name safety, whether it be free agency or the draft? It seems that every year they bring in a mediocre safety that is better on special teams instead of going after one that will benefit for years to come?
Nick: Because there aren’t many good safeties in the NFL, period. It’s not a position that has great talent. If you’re that great in coverage, you’d be a corner. If you’re tall and lanky with skilled hands, probably a receiver. And if you’re a menacing hitter back there with range, the NFL has let it be known that your style is not welcomed and will fine you repeatedly. So the position has changed over the years and I don’t think there are a lot of great ones out there. That’s probably why they don’t invest in one in the first round, because even those guys have question marks.
Rowan: The last “big name” one they went after in the draft was probably Roy Williams. It’s been one of the positions of weakness, really dating back to Darren Woodson’s days, but think about the teams with elite all-around safeties the past few years. Really, outside of the Steelers and Ravens, there hasn’t been a ton over a long period of time. Gerald Sensabaugh was serviceable for a few years and at least more than a special teams player. They probably hoped Ken Hamlin could have contributed longer. But perhaps this year’s draft will buck that trend.
Now that Romo has a six-year extension, how long will Jerry Jones and company give him to win before they start looking for his replacement?
Nick:I’d say you probably look for a guy to develop as early as this year, or maybe next year. Then again, you can say they were looking in 2009 when they got Stephen McGee. You’re always looking for talent at all positions. But I think your question is how “serious” they’re looking. And I’d say maybe in the next two or
three years. That also depends on how Romo plays. If he struggles this year, we’ll be talking about it next year, if not sooner.
Rowan: They need to do it in the next few drafts. They probably can sit this one out at quarterback, just because one would have to assume Romo will be locked up as the starter for at least three or four more years, but they can’t wait long. If there’s a quarterback they like in one of the early rounds in the next three drafts, they should pounce on that opportunity. The last thing the Cowboys want to do is end up in the same situation they were in 10 years ago, bouncing from quarterback to quarterback. Read