SAN ANTONIO – Secondary coach Dave Campo doesn’t want Alan Ball to be an insurance policy for the Cowboys’ cornerback depth.
Wade Phillips has mentioned that the fourth cornerback spot isn’t too big of a concern because Ball can play there in a pinch. But Campo wants Ball, a converted cornerback, to focus on playing free safety.
“I’m looking for a guy, because I think Alan has got to spend every minute doing what he’s doing,” Campo said. “At this point right now, he’s a safety. We’re looking for corners.”
The Cowboys aren’t looking outside of San Antonio for a corner. Campo said he believes Cletis Gordon, Jamar Wall and/or Bryan McCann can be an adequate backup this season, with special teams weighing heavily on the decision about which one or two will make the roster.
Barring injury, Ball appears to be a lock to start at free safety. He earned the coaches’ trust during his fill-in stint as a starter when Ken Hamlin was injured last season, which is why the Cowboys didn’t attempt to sign O.J. Atogwe or another safety in free agency.
But Ball, who began working at safety a little over a year ago, is still in the developmental stages as a safety. Campo doesn’t want the learning process clouded by having Ball work as cornerback as well.
“Right now, he’s at level 101,” Campo said. “He’s working toward 201. If we get to 201, we’re going to be pretty good. Not many guys get to 401.”