IRVING, Texas --The Cowboys replaced safety Abram Elam this offseason with another Rob Ryan guy, Brodney Pool, who had also previously played for the fiery defensive coordinator in Cleveland.
Now Elam is heading back to the AFC as depth for the injury-riddled Chiefs secondary.
Kansas City's starters Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis are recovering from surgery, and rookie DeQuan Menzie is also dealing with a hamstring injury.
Elam signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys last season and started all 16 games at strong safety, recording 79 team-credited tackles with no pass deflections or interceptions.
Looking for more plays at safety, the Cowboys signed Pool and drafted Matt Johnson in the fourth round. Johnson, who is out until the June 12-14 minicamp due to classwork, had 17 career interceptions at Eastern Washington. He will compete with Pool at free safety with Gerald Sensabaugh likely moving back to strong safety.
Veteran safeties have had a hard time finding work this offseason. Elam has been available since March, along with experienced players like Yeremiah Bell, O.J. Atogwe and Chris Crocker. One reason could be the league's shift toward more spread offenses, and the importance of finding safeties with enough range to cover on the back end.