FRISCO, Texas – The month of February is always the transition period from one season to the next. The 2019 season is in the rearview mirror, especially with a brand-new coaching staff in place.
The next step for the team is player personnel, which mostly takes place in March with the start of free agency. The first day of the new league year is March 18, although the Cowboys will have several other decisions to make before then, thanks to 25 unrestricted free agents.
Before we get too far down the road, let's take an overview at each position, finding out what they've got, what they need and some big decisions to make.
Today, we'll break down the safety position.
Coach In Charge: Maurice Linguist
Linguist is a born-and-bred Texan, growing up and winning a state title in the DFW Metroplex, playing at Baylor, and coaching at Texas A&M before joining the Cowboys. Hired by the team on the same day he interviewed, Linguist will work with the safeties specifically, and alongside Al Harris as they oversee the entire secondary.
"When you look at player-coach relationship, everything begins with ultimate trust. Trust is built over consistency and time. You can be a great player; I can be a great coach. If we don't trust each other, nothing else matters," Linguist said. "You have to have your mental approach and build your fundamentals. You have to have your scheme intact. You have to be great technicians. You want to make sure our football IQ is where it needs to be, a smarter player is always a better player. And then you want to be disruptive at the point of attack."
Biggest Question: Will Safety be a High Draft Priority?
The Cowboys have made it clear, over and over, that they think they can win without investing highly in the safety position. This club shows up at the bottom of the rankings in interceptions year after year, and it seems that with over 20 new coaches here at The Star, this could be a perfect time to change philosophies.
The Cowboys haven't drafted a safety in the first or second round since Roy Williams in 2002, taking him with the No. 8 overall pick.
What They Have: Lack of Security
For years, we've seen Jeff Heath start at safety for this team. He, Kavon Frazier and Darian Thompson are all free agents while Xavier Woods is under contract through the 2020 season. So really, you have Donovan Wilson. Linguist actually mentioned he saw some of Wilson at A&M, so maybe there will be some familiarity there. There's no doubt this team is lacking some certainty of which direction they want to go, and it's still hard to tell if they'll bring back Heath.
Immediate Need: Game-Changing Starter
This is not a knock on anyone, but more a call for looking at the direction of the success of this league. There are certain positions you can't skimp on if you want to be a championship caliber team, and the Cowboys are due for turnovers, interceptions, and momentum swings to help them run away with momentum and ultimately, more wins.