Heath Explains Jump From Cowboys To Raiders: 'Fun In Vegas'

Mike Fisher

FRISCO -"Dallas Cowboys West,'' some have called the new Las Vegas Raiders, new in their city in Nevada and new with a replenished roster and coaching staff that has a particular Cowboys feel ...

Which is one of the reasons that after seven seasons in the NFL with Dallas, Jeff Heath is now a Raider.

“It felt right,'' Heath said via Raiders.com. “Coach (Rich) Bisaccia was in Dallas with me for my first five years and Coach (Rod) Marinelli was there, too, and I’ve been with him the whole time I was in Dallas. I just got a really good feeling talking to coach (Jon) Gruden and Mr. (Mike) Mayock (the GM).'' 

Part of the set-up, obviously, is that Las Vegas' two-year deal with Heath exceeds what Dallas wished to pay the starting safety and special-teams ace. The Cowboys have moved on, with the signing of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and the pursuit of even loftier ideas. (Have the Jets signed Jamal Adams yet?)

And Heath has moved on to a relative comfort zone because of his familiarity with Bisaccia, the former special-teams coordinator of the Cowboys who now has that title with the Raiders, and defensive line coach Marinelli, who was Heath's defensive coordinator in Dallas.

In his time with the Cowboys, Heath was sometimes a bit overmatched at safety but was always a stalwart on special teams. He will at the very least serve the Raiders well in the latter capacity, and like fellow Cowboy-turned-Raider Jason Witten will bring a touch of professionalism to a new situation.

"It’s going to be fun being a part of something new being the first year in Vegas,'' Heath said.