The Cowboys are likely counting on Akwasi Owusu-Ansah to make big strides in his second season.
signed Austin to a big-time deal but not Sensabaugh, who didn't have a great start to the 2010 season. As it turned out, Sensabaugh played better down the stretch, tying for the team lead with five interceptions and was much more active in making plays.
Now how will that translate to the offseason is a big question. Do the Cowboys view him as a long-term solution? Will other teams jump to sign him to a big contract?
Whatever the Cowboys do with Sensabaugh, it's only half the problem. And while I wouldn't have thought I'd be saying this a few months ago, I do think the Cowboys need to keep Sensabaugh in the fold.
Now, that doesn't mean outbid someone for him if the money gets out of hand, but I think the Cowboys need to keep him - for no other reason than the fact it's been hard enough to find a good safety around here. And if you lose Sensabaugh, you'll need two safeties.
The Cowboys have to get better at free safety. Alan Ball was not the answer in 2010. He tried his best, let's not be too hard on the guy for trying to change positions.
I've said this about the cornerbacks, Terence Newman, Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick: Let's see if the pass rush gets better next year before throwing them to the wolves. Maybe we should do that with the safeties as well.
Still, I think the Cowboys have to find another free safety. Not saying get rid of Ball because I think his skills can be very valuable. I like a guy who can play some corner, some safety and special teams.
Doesn't mean he has to start.
But it's time for this team to get serious in addressing this position. Draft? Free agency? How about both.
I really thought the Cowboys should've considered Atogwe last year. He just makes plays - he's a turnover machine. And heading into last season, I thought that was the main question mark, especially after cutting Hamlin.
As we head into the offseason, I still view safety as a huge question mark, although it has more competition this year because of other positions.
Whether or not the Cowboys throw their hat into the ring for guys like Atogwe, Sanders, Wilson or anyone else - it can't be the only thing. Guys like that will only temporarily fix the problem at best. You just don't see teams cutting veteran players who still have plenty of tread left on the tires.
There are exceptions, of course, and the Cowboys can only hope they find one.
But it has to be addressed in the draft as well. OK, so maybe this isn't a good year for safeties - especially at No. 9. The Cowboys need to find one - someone - to stop the bleeding.
They have the 40th pick in this draft. If there isn't a safety at No. 9, then maybe 40 makes sense. And even then, it will be a crapshoot.
This team can't sit back and hope Ball gets better. Or hope Akwasi Owusu-Ansah becomes a star. They need to hope he stays healthy first.
It's time to go get a real safety. Well, it's actually been time for a while now, but it seems more critical than ever.