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It’s been 2 decades since the Cowboys have drafted a 1st-round safety

Cowboys drafting a safety in the 1st-round is a real possibility in 2022.

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It’s hard to fathom that the last time the Dallas Cowboys drafted a safety in the first round was two decades ago when they selected Roy Williams out of Oklahoma with the eighth overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. Since then, nada. That could change in 2022. However, you might not want to hold your breath.

Believe it or not, since Roy Williams in 2002, the Dallas Cowboys have only used a top 100 draft pick on a safety once, and that was back in 2013 when they selected J.J. Wilcox 80th overall in the third round. That is unless you count Byron Jones in 2015, which you shouldn’t because Dallas wasted a couple years before they figured out cornerback was his best position.

Let’s try to put things in perspective. In 20 years, the Dallas Cowboys have only drafted a safety in the top 100 twice. That’s mind-boggling. It’s no wonder it’s been a position in continual flux year after year. Here’s a little refresher for you in case you’ve forgotten how they’ve drafted at the position in that 20 year time span.


Safeties the Cowboys have drafted in the last two decades

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3rd Round

  • 2013 – J.J. Wilcox

4th Round

  • 2010 – Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
  • 2012 – Matt Johnson
  • 2020 - Reggie Robinson II

5th Round

  • 2006 – Patrick Watkins
  • 2009 – Michael Hamlin

6th Round

  • 2005 – Justin Beriault
  • 2009 – Stephen Hodge
  • 2016 – Kavon Frazier
  • 2017 – Xavier Woods
  • 2021 - Israel Mukuamu

7th Round

  • 2014 – Ahmad Dixon

Short-term vs. long-term

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The Cowboys currently find themselves extremely thin at the safety position. With Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, and Damontae Kazee all possibly leaving via free agency, and with only Donovan Wilson remaining, the safety position should find itself as one of the top priorities for them this offseason. However, how they go about addressing that roster need remains unknown, especially as it pertains to the short- or long-term.

Short-term, the Cowboys could do what they’ve been doing and patch the position with a Band-Aid through free agency. Re-signing their own who manned the position in 2021 shouldn’t be all that difficult or overly expensive, but none of them may be the long-term solution. If the Cowboys want to solidify things for the foreseeable future, then they’ll probably have to change their mindset and select one a lot earlier than they’re used to.


Potential Top 100 safeties the Cowboys could draft

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  • Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
  • Jaquan Brisker, Penn State
  • Daxton Hill, Michigan
  • Jalen Pitre, Baylor
  • Lewis Cine, Georgia
  • Verone McKinley III, Oregon
  • Nick Cross, Maryland
  • Kerby Joseph, Illinois

Other than Kyle Hamilton, who will be a top 10 pick, most of the other safeties listed below should be in play for the Dallas Cowboys starting at No. 24 in the first round. Unfortunately, we still have nearly two full months of waiting until we find out whether or not they shy away from their past history, or surprise us and finally use a premium draft pick on the position.

What do you think? And, which safety prospect would you like to see them draft?