It’s not only a warning sign near the sharp objects at your workplace, but also a distress signal emanating from Valley Ranch.
If you’ve watch a Cowboys’ game since, oh, about 2006, you know the most glaring weakness of their perennially paltry defense is the back end. Where the deep passes are completed. Where the touchdown-saving tackles are whiffed. And where the likes of Pro Bowl players Darren Woodson have long been wearing ESPN blazers.
Since Woodson – destined for the Ring Honor – retired in 2004 consider the litany of losers the Cowboys have employed at safety: Tony Dixon, Lynn Scott, Keith Davis, Patrick Watkins, Ken Hamlin, Alan Ball, Gerald Sensabaugh, Abe Elam, Will Allen, J.J. Wilcox and Jeff Heath.
The Cowboys have tried free agency and drafting, but other than Roy Williams – who made four Pro Bowls – nothing’s worked. Last year Dallas signed Allen, but he was released after starting the first four games. Wilcox showed promise alongside the steady Church, but a knee injury derailed his season. And we all remember the countless lowlights of the overmatched Heath getting beat in coverage or trucked in the running game.
I’m not saying the Cowboys have to find a playmaker along the lines of Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu or Woodson, but in May’s NFL Draft they also can no longer afford to pass over players who might increase their pass defense.
If the Cowboys don’t land a player such as Louisville’s Calvin Pryor or Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, their safeties will continue to be dangerous.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.