The Cowboys lack of pass rushing talent, especially with the apparent injury-induced decline of DeMarcus Ware and the impending departure of Jason Hatcher in free agency, has been talked and written about extensively. This has led many fans to believe that Jerry, Stephen, and Jason absolutely MUST draft a defensive lineman with their pick in the middle of the first round. As we all followed the Senior Bowl practices this week, we surely sought reports about guys like Ra'Shede Hagemen, Will Sutton, Dee Ford, Chris Smith, and Trent Murphy. We smart BTB'ers also heard what we expected, that Pitt DT Aaron Donald was dominating his counterparts in practice.
However, it is important to remember that we have to consider all possibilities in order to properly prepare ourselves for the draft (especially considering how unpredictable this team has been in recent drafts). Along those lines, this brings the question, could the Cowboys address another perceived weakness, the safety position, in the first round?
Sure, the Cowboys gave Barry Church a contract extension in 2012, drafted J.J Wilcox out of Georgia Southern in the third round in 2013, and gave significant playing time to 2013 undrafted free agent Jeff Heath throughout the regular season, but each of those guys are more downhill, run and hit, strong safety type players. The only true free safeties on the Cowboys roster are often injured (and personal pet cat) Matt Johnson, and often inactive undrafted 2013 rookie Jakar Hamilton, which doesn't exactly inspire a load of confidence from fans (and possibly coaches). I stated early in the 2013 season that I would trade the Cowboys first round pick for Seattle's all everything free safety and leader Earl Thomas, so now is it time for the Cowboys to put their picks where my mouth is?
I actually think it's an option the Cowboys should be willing to accept (in spite of Matt Johnson being the favorite player I've ever studied) considering there are multiple potential first-round safeties available in Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix,and Louisville's Calvin Pryor, as well as a possible plethora of later round "rush men" who could be available. Pryor is more typical of the single high free safety type that I envision the Cowboys seeking, but it is likely that either of these players would provide a significant upgrade to the Dallas secondary and improve the Cowboys defense.
Let's hear from you BTB: Would you consider going safety in the first round?