It’s a strange year for the Cowboys defense. There are a ton of new faces, which is absolutely a good thing. From Kelvin Joseph to Brent Urban, from Micah Parsons to Damontae Kazee, from Tarrel Basham to Keanu Neal, fans will notice a completely new look from this defense, both figuratively and literally.
A player we aren’t talking much about, but should probably be doing so, is 6’ 4”, 205-lb defensive back Israel Mukuamu, a rookie sixth-round pick by the Cowboys. Based on this offseason, Mukuamu has made the transition to safety and seems to be handling the it very well for a young player. With Donovan Wilson, Damontae Kazee, and Malik Hooker slated to make the roster, there’s likely only one more safety spot open with Mukuamu, Jayron Kearse, and Darian Thompson competing for that spot.
Not only is Israel Mukuamu the younger and cheaper option, but he provides plenty of versatility coming out of the University of South Carolina. In college, Mukuamu primarily played corner, but saw time at the safety position throughout his career. His versatility was often put on display at South Carolina, and it’s been on display plenty this preseason for the Cowboys.
Dallas is using rookie Israel Mukuamu everywhere, and he's handled things well — highest-graded rookie safety right now.— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) August 14, 2021
LOS: 8 snaps
Not only is Mukuamu playing at a very high level, but he’s also doing so while playing all over the field for Dan Quinn’s defense. Along with his versatility, Mukuamu also has the size, length, and physicality that Dan Quinn loves in his defensive backs. While it should be pretty obvious who should grab the final safety spot when the final cuts are made, while on with 105.3 The Fan’s GBag Nation on Friday, Stephen Jones mentioned Kearse, Thompson, and Hooker as the three players competing for playing time and roster spots with the current starters.
While the team may be looking to sneak Mukuamu onto the practice squad, the tape he’s putting out this preseason, and the success he’s having at multiple positions and alignments, could mean he gets claimed by another team if released on cutdown day. So do the right thing Cowboys. Reward the young, cheap, freakishly long, versatile defensive back who has competed well this offseason for a roster spot. You won’t regret it.