OXNARD, Calif. - The Dallas Cowboys, long known for not prioritizing the safety position, are gobbling up another NFL free-agent newcomer at the position,a source telling CowboysSI.com that Malik Hooker will, if the medicals work out, join the team at training camp here in Oxnard.

Hooker will join a group that is led by Damontae Kazee, formerly of the Falcons. Kazee could end up being the starter at free safety, with Hooker playing alongside him and maybe jumping ahead of incumbent Donovan Wilson.

Kazee's visit in the spring at The Star in Frisco, went well, especially the medical testing. A source says that's the reason he got the nod (via a one-year contract) over Hooker, who, contrary to reports, was never offered a deal by Dallas.

The Cowboys have already locked up former Atlanta Falcons strong safety Neal to re-join his former coach Dan Quinn in Dallas, with the new Cowboys coordinator an important part of bringing the 6-1, 216-pounder to town - to play a sort of "hybrid'' position that will ask him to work mostly as a linebacker

Neal, 25, has pedigree as a first-round pick of the Falcons in 2016 out of Florida.

Dallas also signed Jayron Kearse to a one-year deal. He is mostly a special-teamer, but at 6-4, 216 and with background as a safety, he too could serve as a "hybrid'' behind Neal.

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The search was then on for help at free safety. Kazee, 27, is also a Falcons ex, and a ballhawk. But despite his penchant for takeaways (he recorded seven interceptions in 2018), the former fifth-rounder is smallish (5-10, 184) and he's coming off an injury issue, as he tore his Achilles' tendon in Week 4 of the 2020 season.

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The Cowboys came away satisfied with his rehab, and he's been a participant in work here at camp.

Hooker, 25, was a college superstar at Ohio State and was an instant hit for the Indianapolis Colts as a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. But injuries have slowed his career. Like Kazee, Hooker tore his Achilles, ending his 2020 season. But the rehab has seemingly been a slower process for him.

Therefore, the Cowboys waited. But this second visit from Hooker is working out. And Quinn and the Cowboys, who once essentially picked Kazee over Hooker, now will likely end up with both of them.

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