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20Q: What Position Still Needs An Upgrade?


FRISCO, Texas – It won't be long now.

The Cowboys have concluded their offseason program and are in the middle of their summer break. As hard as it might be to believe, they'll be at training camp in Oxnard, Calif., in less than one month.

Once they get there, they can begin answering the endless questions that surround this team heading into the 2021 season. Until then, there's still some time to kill.

To help pass that time, we've come up with our annual list of the 20 most pressing questions about the Cowboys as they prepare for head coach Mike McCarthy's second season. Today, we'll start things off with a question about the state of the roster right now.

20) What Position Needs An Upgrade?

David Helman: Ready for me to sound like a broken record? Let's talk about the safeties. Following the disastrous decision to sign HaHa Clinton-Dix last spring, the Cowboys opted to spend even less in 2021, bringing in Damontae Kazee on a prove-it deal. In a vacuum, I like the move. Kazee knows Dan Quinn's scheme, and he's had several good NFL seasons. The problem is that he's coming off a torn Achilles – which is a heck of a challenging injury for a safety to bounce back from. But he's going to need to. The Cowboys have a promising up-and-comer in Donovan Wilson, and they also signed some veteran experience in Jayron Kearse. But the bottom line is that neither of these guys is a completely proven commodity. I'm not going to be surprised if we're once again talking about safety as a problem spot in 2022.

Nick Eatman: I know we're going to talk about this in other questions down the road, so I'll bypass the center position for now, but I do think that's a spot that needs some more experience. But to answer this question differently, I would say the secondary, specifically at safety. There's just no one there right now that you completely trust. Again, this is a question before camp – before we've seen what Donovan Wilson looks like and what Kearse and Kazee show us out in Oxnard. But if a better option comes available in camp, I could see the Cowboys adding a little more experience at this spot.

Rob Phillips: The Cowboys haven't added more competition at backup quarterback to this point, but they've made no secret about looking into free agent options, and they've held some workouts this spring. It's no mystery why: There is talent behind Dak Prescott, but the trio of Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci have two career starts between them: one start each for DiNucci and Gilbert last year on extremely short notice. It's just a big gap in experience compared to what Andy Dalton provided as the No. 2 guy last year. Perhaps the Cowboys are waiting to see how the backups perform in preseason, while also keeping an eye on the free agent landscape into the summer. But it's definitely a position to watch.

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