The Cowboys had to free up a little more money to acquire their latest piece, Pittsburgh Steelers free agent safety Will Allen. They managed it by cutting wide receiver Anthony Armstrong.
Cowboys cut WR Anthony Armstrong. Frees up $630k and officially sign S Will Allen— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 27, 2013
Will Allen started his career with the Tampa Bucs after being drafted from Ohio State in the fourth-round, but spent the past few years in Pittsburgh. Obviously his time at the Bucs makes him familiar with the Tampa 2.
Height: 6-1 Weight: 200 Age: 30
Born: 6/17/1982 Dayton , OH
College: Ohio State
Experience: 10th season
High School: Wayne HS [Huber Heights, OH]
Allen brings a veteran presence to a position that is awfully thin for Dallas, safety. Barry Church is expected to be one starter, but he is still recovering from the Achilles injury. Matt Johnson is someone the Cowboys are high on, but he has zero experience in the NFL.
Allen gives them an option. How good of an option is open for debate, but from reading about Allen there is no debate he's a RKG. He also seems to be adept at special teams.
Here's an Allen interview from our sister site, Behind The Steel Curtain.
If you want to learn more about Allen's history read this long article from a local Pittsburgh affiliate. A snippet:
With the absence of Troy Polamalu, Allen has stepped into the forefront to become a consistent force in the Steelers defensive backfield. Being a part of the ‘next man up' movement in 2012, Allen has moved from being a special teams asset to an impact player. Allen doesn't mind the lack of spotlight. In fact, his humble and thoughtful personality has allowed him to not only champion his dreams on the football field, but champion his intense devotion to those who matter the most to him; his family, his teammates and those he serves via his foundation.
Another article about Allen from the middle of last year.
Will Allen wasn't the first choice to replace the injured Troy Polamalu at strong safety. If his ego was bruised, it didn't show. The nine-year veteran admits he struggled earlier this season: He missed tackles. He missed assignments. At times, he was missing in action.
He didn't hang his head when Ryan Mundy stepped into the starting lineup opposite free safety Ryan Clark after Polamalu bruised his calf in the season opener. Allen understands his role in the NFL's top-ranked secondary.
Yet when the defense needed a boost after Polamalu aggravated his calf against Philadelphia, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and secondary coach Carnell Lake hedge their bets on Allen. They figured experience would trump athleticism.
So far, they have proven to be right.