Through neither Free Agency nor the Draft did the Dallas Cowboys undo its “biggest flaw” ahead of the 2021 NFL season.
Which remains — according to Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay — the Cowboys’ bare-bones safety corps.
The Cowboys secondary was abysmal last year, which they addressed by drafting a trio of cornerbacks, including two within the first 100 picks. However, they didn’t use one of their 11 selections on a safety, which they may regret if they once again struggle against the pass this season.
After losing Xavier Woods in free agency, the Cowboys came to terms with Keanu Neal to help fill the void. They also signaled their intent to convert sixth-round pick Israel Mukuamu to safety, but their only other offseason acquisition at the position was Damontae Kazee. Both Mukuamu and Kazee are likely to be depth options at best.
Dallas needs to find at least one more veteran safety to feel comfortable about its secondary in 2021. Malik Hooker is the type of playmaker whom the Cowboys need right now, as he would play a big role if he can stay healthy.
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Depth Chart Snapshot
After Dallas fielded a historically futile defense in 2020, the powers-that-be declared the secondary an offseason priority — both at cornerback and safety. The moves began in-house as the team chose to part with starting CB Chidobe Awuzie and S Xavier Woods and re-signed CB Jourdan Lewis.
From there, the Cowboys imported a troika of veteran safeties (Jayron Kearse, Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee) via the open market and used a trio of draft picks (second-round CB Kelvin Joseph, third-round CB Nahshon Wright, sixth-round CB/S Israel Mukuamu) to further bolster the back end under new coordinator Dan Quinn, who sought defenders equipped with especially long reach.
Neal will start at weakside linebacker, Quinn confirmed, while Mukuamu will begin his professional career at safety, platooning with Kearse and Donovan Wilson opposite Kazee.
Mukuamu, who boasts 34-inch arms, admitted he’s “more comfortable” playing cornerback but vowed to do whatever was needed to “get on the field” and help his new squad.
“I’m just a do-it-all guy. … Whatever they ask of me, that’s what I’m going to do,” he told Dallas media after being drafted.
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