Safety Position A Top Priority Again

deal last season and despite not playing at a Pro Bowl level, he will be back next season. That doesn't mean he has to be the free safety. He has played strong safety in Seattle before, and that might be his better position.  

  So what happens at free safety? Well, this is where Anthony Henry could enter the equation.  

  For about two years now, we've been getting e-mails and questions about this move. And every time, I've had the standard answer.  

  "That's fine, but only if you have a viable replacement at cornerback."  

  This is a classic "Don't rob Peter to pay Paul" theory. And for the last two years, they didn't have anyone better than Henry to play cornerback. But just maybe they do now. Maybe Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrcik can fill the void. It looks like one of them, or both, could be ready for an expanded role. As for Pacman Jones, who knows with him? I get the feeling that this off-season will work itself out, as far as he is concerned. If he goes the entire spring and summer with no problems, that will be a big step for him.  

  But something tells me there is a good chance that Pacman won't be returning next year.  

  With or without him, you've got some options now at cornerback, and so moving Henry to safety would make sense.  

  However, as Henry indicated last summer, it's a move that needs to be done soon, so he can have an entire off-season to get acclimated the position. Sure, Henry played some safety in the nickel and dime packages this year, but as a three-down player, it's not an easy switch.  

  On Tuesday, I actually talked to a guy who knows a thing or 20 about safety in Darren Woodson. And he not only endorsed Henry moving to safety, but said he has the ability to be an "Ed Reed type of player." Maybe that's a stretch, but anything close, would be much more than what the Cowboys have had at safety here lately. 

  OK, so with Hamlin and Henry, the Cowboys could then draft a safety as well. They don't have a first-round pick, but maybe in the second or third, and they do have two in the fourth.  

  Now that leads us back to Keith Davis, who signed just a one-year deal after being released by the Dolphins.  

  He'll probably get an idea of his worth yet again, but you would think the writing is on the wall with him. He's a pretty good safety and a superb special-teams guy. That has value.  

  The Cowboys should realize it. More than that, he's a leader. He's as tough as they get. And he's one guy that his teammates will downright respect.  

  Is there a price on that? If so, I'm not sure what it is, but it's something the Cowboys should make room for.  

  And the Cowboys do want him back. They will try to re-sign him, probably with the idea of being the third or fourth safety, and the special teams leader once again.  

  Personally, I give Keith Davis a rather large contract. And not because maybe he'll compete for a starting job, but I would do it because he's the best special teams player on the team and the best they've had here in about five years.  

  That alone should send a message that special teams IS indeed a priority. Not only are we going to keep these guys, but pay the ones who have earned it.  

  After that, I'm not sure where guys like Courtney Brown, Pat Watkins and Tra Battle fit into the mix. Watkins has a chance because of his special teams play, but he was bit by the injury bug all season.  

  There are certainly lots of pieces to this safety puzzle - one that might not get sorted out for a while.                                                                                         

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