FRISCO, Texas — If Cowboys fans have consistently asked for anything from their team over the past decade, it's probably fair to say defensive turnovers have been their number one request. Dallas made a move to hopefully address their turnover deficiency when they hired Dan Quinn to take over as their defensive coordinator earlier this offseason.
Their most recent addition, however, might address the issue more specifically. Safety and noted ball hawk Damontae Kazee agreed to terms with the club Thursday, reuniting with Quinn, who drafted him to the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Kazee agreed to terms after taking an official visit with the Cowboys organization Wednesday. He reportedly met with the Lions on Thursday before deciding to sign with Dallas.
Kazee thrived as a free safety under Quinn in Atlanta and showed what he can do when a quarterback puts the ball within range of his fingertips. In his second season in 2018, he recorded seven interceptions and added three more in 2019.
The Cowboys haven't had any player come close to Kazee's seven interceptions in a season. The last time was 1985 when cornerback Everson Walls had nine. The year before, Michael Downs had seven, the last safety in Cowboys history to record that many in a single season.
The 27-year-old Kazee is the second defensive back from Quinn's Falcons secondary that the Cowboys have targeted in free agency. Keanu Neal — who Kazee originally backed up at free safety before Neal tore his ACL in 2018, opening up a starting spot for Kazee — also agreed to terms with Dallas. Neal is expected to start off at linebacker, which could allow Kazee to slot in at the team's starting free safety position that was occupied by Xavier Woods last season.
While Kazee looked very impressive for a fifth-round pick over the first three years of career, he only played four games last season before suffering a torn Achilles' tendon ending his season in October.