As we’re now only a week from training camp’s padded practices in Oxnard, I was contemplating the Cowboys’ defense. As in, how the heck is it going to be better than the wretched, record-breaking unit from 2013 when this off-season it’s lost Sean Lee, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher?
I still go back to the safeties, and what I think is the worst positions on the team, if not the entire league. Barry Church can make some plays, but J.J. Wilcox last year got beat out by Jeff Heath, who belongs on special teams at the best. With a tremendous amount of trepidation, I decided to look up the safeties on the other NFC East teams and sure enough … the Cowboys have the lousiest group.
The Eagles will start Malcolm Jenkins and Nate Allen. The Giants Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown. And the Redskins Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather.
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Rolle made the Pro Bowl for the Giants in 2013 and Brown is back after blowing out his knee last summer. He had a productive 2012 and gives the Giants the best duo in the division. For the Eagles, Jenkins is a veteran from the Saints who can play the run while Allen has six interceptions in 54 NFL starts. The Redskins have a couple players on the downside of their careers in Meriweather and Clark, but they combined for 114 tackles and four picks in 2013.
Church, remember, has just one interception in his four-year career. He is the Cowboys’ best safety by far, but I’m not so sure he could start for any of the Cowboys’ divisional foes.
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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.