Those who don't think the Cowboys have a real need at safety haven't been watching the same games over the past several years that I have. Depending on whose article one reads, or which mock one studies, it isn't a question of need, but rather, of priority.
My-oh-my, how things change over the years. Back in the day, which for us old codgers was the '60s, '70s, and '80s, it seems there was no such thing as a Pro Bowl without a Cowboys Safety. Although, I suspect there may have been one or two years in Hawaii with no Cowboys Safeties, but that is the beauty of senior citizenship: if you weren't born yet, how can you argue with me?
Because it seems that there was at least one Pro-Bowl Safety every year, I was flabbergasted (a senior citizen word) to find out a little while ago that not a single one of them is in the Hall-of-Fame. No Cliff Harris--what a shame. No Charlie Waters--a disgrace. Cornell Green--nope, not even him. No Michael Downs, Nate Thurman, or Benny Barnes. Surely Darren Woodson, from those great Super Bowls in the "modern" (post-Landry) era, right? Absolutely not.
Pretty damned good, all of them. Plus quite a few more. I realize I have omitted one Cowboy who played some Safety, and who is in the HOF, Mel Renfro, but I think of him more as a CB. Charlie Waters played a lot of Corner as well, but he was a dominate Safety.
This list proves that being a first round pick isn't a prerequisite for stardom at Safety with the Cowboys. I believe that Roy Williams is the only Safety ever drafted by the Cowboys in the first round. Williams, by the way, was an awfully good player his first few years in the league. Only near the end did age betray him physically, and his confidence, and perhaps desire, desert him.
So, how does the team proceed with resolving the obviously glaring need at Safety. I know some would say the line should be the top defensive priority to improve the pass rush of one of the worse defenses, statistically, in the NFL. Others point out that the "3" in 4-3 alignment is there for a reason, and the team only has two. At corner? The starters are there, but not much afterward should any of the first three go down.
There are those who say, "Before the injury, Church was looking awfully good." Others believe that Matt Johnson can be a superstar. And after those two, there is.... Yes? Well, maybe we can see if Alan Ball really likes it in Houston. So yes, we really, really need to pick up a quality Safety in the draft--the key word here being quality.
As to the incumbents: just how will Church return from that early, season ending injury? And Johnson? Has never played a down in the NFL. Johnson also had injuries in college and never made it to the beginning of the season last year.
My personal preference would be an offensive lineman at #18--if one of the top 5 is there--but if not, you won't find me crying if we hear Roger Goodell say, "With the 18th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Texas Free Safety, Kenny Vaccaro."