If the Cowboys ever decide to sign Earl Thomas as a free agent, that would mean someone on the current roster would be losing playing time. Dallas would not be signing a player like Thomas to sit on the bench; he would definitely eat up a starter’s portion of snaps.
Xavier Woods, one of the Cowboys current starters at safety, says he’s not worried. In an interviewed shared over at the Mothership, Woods notes that he doesn’t even think about it.
“It doesn’t bother me anymore, man,” Woods said. “I don’t even pay no mind to it.”
“I just can control what I can control. That’s the bottom line,” he said. “I know my worth. I know that I can play and that’s all that matters to me.”
Last year, Woods said he felt disrespected by the talk around adding Thomas, but this year he’s taking it in stride. There may be a very good explanation for that. It’s likely that Woods wouldn’t be the one losing much playing time. That could fall on the duo of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Darian Thompson. Those two are in a heated training camp battle for snaps next to Woods, and those two stand the biggest chance of losing snaps with a possible arrival of Thomas.
While there are still designations of free safety and strong safety, in recent years the Cowboys safeties have become more interchangeable and that is expected to continue under Mike Nolan’s defense. Mike McCarthy has stressed flexibility in the secondary and has mentioned interchangeable safeties.
Asked #Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy what he liked about his safeties currently on the roster and his answer was their “flexibility.”— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) August 25, 2020
Day 8 Practice Notes:— Kyle Youmans (@Kyle_Youmans) August 24, 2020
-Dak has ZIP on his throws
-Diggs starting to look more comfortable outside of press-man
-Competition for the LG spot may have a new (rookie) option
-These DE are expected to do more than just rush the passer
-Safeties are interchangeable (like MM said)
Corners like Daryl Worley and Reggie Robinson have been getting reps at safety, too. So just who will line up where is somewhat of a mystery. Adding Thomas to the mix might make it even murkier. Or it could settle the deal with Woods and Thomas taking the majority of the snaps.
Woods also noted in the interview that the biggest difference for the secondary this year under Nolan is the increased number of coverages used and the ability to disguise those coverages. But he also when on to say that it’s really on the players and that they didn’t play well enough last year. He offered up the example of the San Francisco 49ers defense that, in his words, ran basically the same scheme last year and were an excellent defense that made the Super Bowl. His contention is that in the end, it comes down to the players executing.
Woods also added a lighter note when he was asked what stood out about the Jeopardy game that the Cowboy played last week. He said what stood out is that the rookies can’t spell, and that the rookies, and the second- and third-year guys, don’t know classic songs or TV shows.