NFL Combine Cowboys: Meet the DBs - Including Help for 'The Poor Safety Position'

Mike Fisher

Dallas Cowboys COO Stephen Jones was joking the other day at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis about this franchise's decision to place a low priority on the safety position.

"That poor safety position,'' he said. "It gets shorted every time.” 

In truth, the Cowboys have occasionally taken stabs at big-investment solutions, including in recent years trade proposals for superstars like Earl Thomas and Jamal Adams. But in a salary-cap league, something's gotta give - so Dallas doesn't give money to safeties, or use "pricy'' draft capital, either.

Will this NFL Draft be different? Jeff Heath is a free agent, so only Xavier Woods can be counted on at the position. Meanwhile, Dallas has free-agent decisions to make at cornerback, too, as Byron Jones' price tag may exceed what the Cowboys wish to spend. Therefore, at safety and at cornerback, all the Scouting Combine names and profiles from our invaluable SI.com/Maven guy Bill Huber:

Introducing the 26 Safeties

Part 1: Delpit, Utah tandem and a freak athlete

Part 2: McKinney, Notre Dame duo and a D-II stud

Part 3: All-Americans Winfield and Reed, and a Clemson pair

Introducing the 35 Cornerbacks

Part 1: Dantzler and Arnette

Part 2: Brother of NFL WR leads SEC stars

Part 3: Okudah cream of corner crop

Part 4: Louisiana’s lethal weapon

Again, the Cowboys have certainly given every indication that Byron is about to be a salary-cap odd-man out behind fellow free agents Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. (And maybe, according to some of the buzz we're hearing, behind Robert Quinn, too.

“Byron is a guy we think a lot of,” Stephen said of Byron, the 2015 first-rounder and the team’s top corner. “He’s had a great run at corner. He’s played really well, played at a high level. That’s the hard thing when you have quite a few good players on your football team is you get challenges. Byron understands that. But at the same time, he’s worried about Byron, as he should be.”

And maybe the Cowboys should be worried, too, about a secondary without Jones and possibly without Heath. ... all while hoping the Combine and then the NFL Draft can calm some of the concerns.

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