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Eatman: No Longer a Luxury, Safety Now a Need 


ARLINGTON, Texas – Safety. Safety. Safety.

That's really all we've talked about all this offseason. And it wasn't just getting any safety, but a great safety who has said he wants to be here.

Well, now it looks like the Cowboys could use just any safety, and maybe even two.

Jason Garrett said there is a "numbers issue" at safety and added the team will see "who is available for us."

Maybe, it truly is time to make a guy available. We all know what's going on in Seattle, and what has happened in the past with a six-time Pro Bowler following Jason Garrett to the Cowboys locker room and all but begging him to bring him to the Cowboys.

Since then, he's missed all of training camp in a contract holdout.

Apparently, Seattle wants a second-round pick if not more. The Cowboys obviously weren't willing to give them the second-round pick on draft day as they opted to take guard Connor Williams.

But now, this isn't just about getting an upgrade to the safety spot with a stud player like an Earl Thomas. This is about getting anyone in here who can help you tomorrow.

Against the Bengals Saturday night, Xavier Woods suffered a hamstring injury that could sideline him for a little bit. Jameill Showers sustained a knee injury and left the game on crutches. And that's on top of the team playing without Marqueston. Huff, who has been out all last week with an injury.

The Cowboys have Jeff Heath, who played pretty well in this game, Kavon Frazier, who has also been banged up the last couple of weeks but fighting through it, and then undrafted rookies Kam Kelly and Tyree Robinson.

Sure, they can go out and find them a safety who has played games in the league. But getting this year's version of Robert Blanton or Eric Frampton probably isn't going to fix this issue.

Anyone who has listened to our daily podcast "The Break" this summer, knows my stance on getting Thomas. I never understood why they would part ways with Dez and get that $8 million in cap space and not do anything with it. The fact that acquiring the veteran from Seattle would be right about $8 million seems too good to be true. Plus, he wants to be here and the Cowboys seemingly had a need there all made sense as well.

Now there is a strong need to get someone to play safety.

Might as well get someone who you know can step right in and play this position in this scheme, under this defensive backs coach Kris Richard.

Listen, I know this sounds like a knee-jerk reaction considering we don't even know how bad Woods' injury is and losing Showers is more of a practice reps issue because he probably wasn't making the team. But I think this reaction also stems from the fact that Woods really didn't make any plays at camp. Not many great ones, but not many bad ones either – which is a big deal for a safety.

He gets to the football but to me, is still a work in progress. On the play he got hurt, I wonder if the perception of Woods would be different had he hauled in that interception.

This whole time, I've never really had an issue with Woods. I like his game and his ability to play slot corner is intriguing. His future is bright, regardless if he starts at safety this year or not.

Obviously, the Cowboys will go get a safety or two this week for practice purposes. But again, they need to get someone they can trust – not just someone who has played an NFL game. At this point,

A few weeks ago at the start of training camp, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said the team hadn't had any discussions with Seattle about Thomas since the draft. Not sure that's still the case at this point. Who knows if Saturday's game will change any of that?

I just know the Cowboys now need bodies at safety. Why not try to get the best one out there?