Cowboys free agents: Danny McCray

January, 31, 2013
1/31/13
11:30
PM ET
[+] EnlargeDanny McCray
AP Photo/Tom HauckDanny McCray started 10 games and finished second on the team in tackles.

Danny McCray


Position: Safety

Type: Restricted

Summary: The Cowboys' special teams ace started 10 games because of the season-ending injury to Barry Church. McCray finished second on the team in total tackles (71) and solo tackles (50). He also had one interception and two pass breakups. McCray played through nagging injuries in the latter half of the season.

Why keep him: McCray is a smart player who impressed coaches with his tackling and improved his ability to cover tight ends and speedy receivers on deep routes. When Church returns from a torn Achilles, expect McCray to compete for a backup role at safety and turn into a solid special teams player the Cowboys value.

Why let him go: He struggled at times with open-field tackling and seemed to be a liability at times in pass coverage. Maybe Matt Johnson, who missed the entire season with hamstring injuries, could replace McCray in the lineup in 2013. Eric Frampton, another free agent, is another option.

Best guess: McCray will be back in 2013. There is some concern about the return of Church and Johnson from health issues. If both players are slow to recover from their injuries, then McCray becomes an important part of the team's future.

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Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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