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Draft Show: Right Time to Draft a Safety?


Editor's Note: It never seems too early to talk about the draft. Twice a week on, the crew gets in the studio for the "Draft Show" to discuss about a variety of players and positions and how they might relate to the Cowboys, who have the No. 24 overall pick. This week, much of the draft topics include a position that never seems to get top priority.

FRISCO, Texas – "I'll believe it when I see it."

It's a common statement heard around the NFL Draft process when the discussion of an early-round safety emerges.

For good reason too, since the Cowboys front office hasn't taken a safety in the first two rounds since 2002 (Roy Williams), a safety in the first three rounds since 2013 (J.J. Wilcox), or one at all since they took Donovan Wilson in 2019.

All of this to say, it may not be historically fruitful to think Dallas could use their precious draft capitol on a player backing up the defense. But there are signs this year could be different.

There are plenty of questions surrounding the safety position and the severe lack of returning players at the position. Who, if any, out of Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, or Damontae Kazee will return after testing the free agent market this offseason? Is there confidence in Donovan Wilson and Isreal Mukuamu to carry the load with a couple patchwork pieces added in free agency and a limited budget?

The fact of the matter is - the easiest way to add talent at the position will be through the NFL Draft. And it happens to be a class with talent that lines up well with where Dallas will be making their selections. Along with a coaching staff that values the safety position more than others in the past.

  • Outside of Notre Dame's Kyle Hamilton, who is widely known as the top safety in the class, there should be a legitimate opportunity for Dallas to have their pick of the other starting caliber safeties at 24 overall and in the second round.
  • Penn State's Jaquan Brisker will most likely be at the top of that list. A freakish-athlete who took the Big Ten schedule in stride after transferring from the JUCO ranks and a player that could fit perfectly over the top of a Dan Quinn defense. Other names include Daxton Hill (Michigan) and Lewis Cine (Georgia) who will most likely be available at 24, but tough to find at 56.
  • However, the list grows more interesting as the draft gets deeper. So even if Dallas were to address other needs in the first round, or maybe even the second, there could be prospects like Verone McKinley III (Oregon), Smoke Monday (Auburn), and Jalen Pitre (Baylor) that could come in and instantly be starters.

Even with all the talent in a deep class of safeties, some may think the stars would have to align for Dallas to use high draft picks on the safety position. But based off the scenario, and the new faces around the war room, those stars may already be getting in place. This could finally be the year.

For more on how the Cowboys could address their safety position this offseason, check out The Draft Show with Bryan Broaddus, Jeff Cavanaugh, Kyle Youmans, and David Helman. The latest episodes can be found HERE:

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