Somehow, almost overnight, the Dallas Cowboys solved their issue at cornerback.
Maybe it really was overnight, though, the night of April 28th, 2017 when the Cowboys drafted Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis in the second and third rounds, respectively.
It took all but one evening to do what the Cowboys tried so hard to accomplish with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne in 2012, and the future at cornerback looks bright.
What about safety, though? Bring that up with Cowboys fans and they’ll say there hasn’t been an established one since Darren Woodson, never mind Roy Williams.
Dallas has been sorely needing legitimate safety play for some time, and many thought they’d answered the call with the drafting of Byron Jones in the first round three years ago.
Depending on who you ask, Byron has been solid or disappointing. The fact is he’s been a little bit of both, so much so that even the subject of whether or not his option will be picked up is a massive debate.
Besides Jones the Cowboys have Kavon Frazier, Jeff Heath (the GOAT), and fellow rookie classmate of Chido and Jourdan, Xavier Woods. We saw the Cowboys shuffle things up with a few of these guys last season.
They tried Chidobe at safety, and they worked Xavier at slot corner, sometimes out of necessity. Chido seems set at corner opposite of Jourdan Lewis, and don’t forgetOrlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown, and Dallas might even give Marquez White a shot in 2018.
At safety, things are less settled. Byron Jones and Jeff Heath don’t exactly inspire confidence, but both Frazier and Woods do show promise. What about external options, though?
We know the Cowboys have been linked to Seattle’s Earl Thomas (who did the linking by charging into their locker room), but what about Kenny Vaccaro? He’s the rumor that just won’t go away, and he’s back again, although the rumor is a year old this time.
I heard strong rumors that Dallas was interested in Vaccaro last offseason. https://t.co/3WNPPTUTIv— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) February 12, 2018
If the Cowboys had interest in Vaccaro last offseason, what does that suggest of their evaluations at the time? Kenny is a strong safety, and even though Jeff Heath is the greatest of all time, it’s not a secret that the Cowboys could improve on him, but what about Kavon?
Perhaps the Cowboys were primarily interested in Vaccaro to help fill the void that Barry Church left (at the time). Considering Kavon’s growth in 2017 as well as how nicely Xavier Woods played throughout his rookie season, they might pass on somebody like Kenny now (who’s set to be a free agent this offseason).
The Earl Thomas idea was one that really was forced on the Cowboys, because it’s hard to see a true need to go make that massive of a move (as of now he’s under contract through 2018). Something like Kenny Vaccaro seems more feasible granted he’s a free agent and Jeff Heath is less reliable than Byron Jones.
It should be noted that this entire conversation can be sent for an even larger tailspin if the Cowboys move the aforementioned Byron Jones to cornerback, an idea that has already been floated.
As of now the Cowboys have a handful of nice options at safety in general, but none that are truly elite. Earl Thomas certainly is elite, and Kenny Vaccaro could be given a chance to be if the rumors are at all true. Will one ultimately wear the star?