As most of us know by now, the 3 top needs for the Cowboys in the draft are OG, DE, and supposedly S with RT not far behind. Kenny Vaccaro has been mocked to the Cowboys with consistency that really irritates me. Now a lot of you may read the title and think "Really? No safeties at all?" My answer is yes... or no rather, no safeties at all.
Right now, the safeties on the Cowboys roster that could conceivably receive significant playing time are Barry Church, who Monte Kiffin has personally endorsed as his SS, Matt Johnson, Will Allen, Danny McCray, and CB/S hybrid Sterling Moore.
For the sake of this article's argument to work, let's assume that Church can return to the level he was playing at before the injury (above average starter) by the start of training camp, which would put him 9 months removed from the injury. So SS is not a problem.
This brings us to the FS for which the current frontrunners for the starting job are Matt Johnson and Will Allen. If you haven't watched any tape on Matt Johnson, go watch some right now.
You're back? Good. Now if you're as impressed as I was with his range, tackling ability, and nose for the ball, then you don't need any convincing. If you're not, then proceed to the next paragraph.
What's the biggest knock against trusting Johnson with the starting FS job? He's an unknown. None of us aside from the coaches have seen him play against anything that even simulates NFL competition. But, for some reason, those coaches seem to have so much confidence that Johnson will be a starting NFL Safety that they CUT Gerald Sensabaugh. I know he wasn't a pro bowl player, but Sensabaugh was an average to good starter who did his job at a position where the number 1 job is just not to get beat. And don't try to argue that we couldn't have paid him his 3 million this year or else we'd be over the cap. We cut Sensabaugh because the coaches felt that Johnson was ready to get his shot to start.
If the coaches feel that they have 2 young, starting caliber safeties on the roster with adequate depth, then why would we draft one? Either stick with your guns and give Johnson every chance to win the job, or admit that you were wrong and cut him the day after the draft and take you're shiny new 1st or 2nd round safety to training camp.
But know this: If Kawaan Short and Jonathan Cyprien are sitting there at 47 and you take Cyprien, you'd better hope that Johnson doesn't turn into anything or hours going to look real foolish real fast.