The Dallas Cowboys are in search of an upgrade at safety. In fact, you can pretty much say that’s been the case for the last several years after the team continues to do next to nothing to help bolster the position. Don’t get me wrong, there have been chances. Between acquiring a seasoned All-Pro and going after a young rising star, there have been plenty of opportunities for the Cowboys to grab strong talent at the position.
It all started with the Earl Thomas ordeal. After making it clear he wanted to join the Cowboys, many speculated the team would work out some type of trade to acquire him from the Seattle Seahawks. They had an opportunity to get him by trading their second-round pick to Seattle in 2018, but opted to draft Connor Williams instead. Even when Thomas hit the open market in free agency, the Cowboys passed as they were not interested in spending that kind of money on him.
Then, last season, the draft was loaded with several top safeties that were still available when the Cowboys were on the clock at pick 58, but again they passed, instead selecting defensive tackle Trysten Hill. Nasir Adderley, Taylor Rapp, and Juan Thornhill were all selected in the final five picks of the second round.
And finally, some thought the Cowboys would take a shot a trying to trade for New York Jets safety Jamal Adams. While a young player like Adams would be a great upgrade at the position, it would’ve cost the Cowboys two first-round picks as well as a Day 2 pick. According to reports, that was one first-round pick too many for the Cowboys taste. So, once again they made due with what they had.
The Cowboys relied on the duo of Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath to man the safety position for the second straight season. While Dallas finished the year in the top 10 in both passing yards and passing touchdowns, they were the third-worst team when it comes to creating interceptions. The safety group has been solid, but they are very humdrum and offer nothing spectacular in terms of playmakers. Not only that, but many of the safeties on the current roster have expiring contracts:
- Jeff Heath
- Darian Thompson
- Kavon Frazer
- Xavier Woods, former sixth-rounder with one year left on rookie deal
- Donovan Wilson, former sixth-rounder with three years left on rookie deal
The Cowboys definitely need to address their safety position, and as luck would have it - this could be the exact moment to do so. David Helman from the Mothership, and LSU alum, obviously has his own reasons for his affinity for Grant Delpit, but this makes perfect sense.
it’s possible I’m a tad bit biased, but I don’t know if this draft class has a better meeting of— David Helman (@HelmanDC) January 15, 2020
1. badass player
2. fits a Cowboys draft need &
3. has a realistic shot to be there @ 17 pic.twitter.com/GImuuILa28
Delpit is the best safety coming out of the draft, and with so many other great players at other positions, it’s not unrealistic to think he falls to no. 17 when the Cowboys pick. Safeties often get overlooked early, as we all saw Derwin James fall to the Chargers at 17 in 2018. What a steal that was.
The Tigers’ star safety is a complete player. He’s got amazing coverage skills as his instincts and ball skills make him a beast roaming the secondary. Delpit is very intelligent and knows how to recognize plays quickly, which is why you’ll always find him in the middle of the action. His speed combined with his length allows him to cover a lot of ground in a hurry.
While coverage is his strength, Delpit showcases the physicality to be a force in the running game. He runs downhill and has demonstrated the flexibility to play as an extra linebacker at times for LSU. He can shoot the gaps and blitz off the edge. There’s just not a lot of things Delpit can’t do.
My colleagues Connor Livesay and Cole Patterson have already recently identified Delpit as a potential candidate for the Cowboys in the first round, and you can add me to the list as someone who is very interested in bringing the LSU star safety to Dallas. The Cowboys have shown great discipline in not overpaying to address this need, but this could be a situation where the stars line up perfectly for the Cowboys to get their guy. How great would it be to suddenly land a young star safety on a rookie deal (with fifth-year option).