The Cowboys weren’t the biggest players in free agency this offseason, but that doesn’t mean that they were without acquisitions.
Dallas signed their handful of guys, they drafted players that can certainly help right away, and they made a few in-house changes like moving Byron Jones to cornerback.
Perhaps the biggest move they’ve made is the one that’s partly responsible for the move of Jones, bringing in Kris Richard to work with their secondary as the defense’s passing game coordinator.
Richard joined Mickey Spagnola on DallasCowboys.com’s “The Blitz” (jump to about the 6:27 mark) to talk about how things are going early on. There’s undeniably excitement about his young crop of cornerbacks, but there’s hesitation about who’s going to play free safety for him.
Many have thought (and perhaps still continue to hope) that the Cowboys would swing a trade for one of Richard’s previous primary point men in Earl Thomas; however, the Cowboys and Seahawks haven’t exactly been able to come to terms that make them both comfortable with a deal.
For now we have to operate under the terms of the current roster, and that means we have to find a free safety. It seems that the perhaps the most well-equipped man for the job could be 2017 draft darling Xavier Woods. Richard spoke highly of him after Mickey asked specifically about Xavier’s potential as the answer at safety.
“This guy’s going to be our sideline to sideline guy. He’s got the speed, he’s got the mind, he’s got the toughness. He has the tools to do what we’re going to require out of our middle-of-the-field safety, out of any safety at any position that we have him. He’s got the tools that’s required, Jeff Heath has the tools that’s required, Kavon Frazier has the tools that’s required. Again, we got a bunch of guys here that has the tools that’s required and it’s going to be our responsibility to make sure that we grow them in the proper fashion.”
There’s no denying Xavier’s potential to be the center fielder the Cowboys have been looking for, but it’s obviously far from a slam-dunk decision. It’s difficult to trust such an important position to a second-year player, however highly you thought of him entering the draft.
If there’s anybody that can mold Xavier into the type of player the Cowboys are going to need, it’s Kris Richard. His hiring has been touted for a reason, and let’s hope that it translates into on-field success in 2018.