Saturday, March 10, 2012
What should Cowboys do at safety?
By Dan Graziano
Everybody knows the Dallas Cowboys need to upgrade their secondary, and much of the attention has been on cornerback, where Terence Newman is sure to be released and the Cowboys are being linked to cornerbacks such as Brandon Carr and Cortland Finnegan in free agency and Janoris Jenkins and Dre Kirkpatrick in the draft. But they also need to address safety, and the Cowboys' website raises the interesting name of Brodney Pool as a possible solution there. Pool played for Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan in Cleveland and could be a fit in Dallas if it decides not to retain his former teammate, Abram Elam:
Having started alongside Elam in Cleveland, Pool's signing with the Cowboys would mean that Elam will play elsewhere in 2012, most likely. Gerald Sensabaugh has been locked up to a long-term deal, but the Cowboys could use an upgrade opposite him. Pool and Elam are comparable talents, but Pool is three years younger and has a bit more size and athleticism. The team would seem unlikely to use a first-round pick on one of the draft's top safeties like Mark Barron of Alabama, and could hope to buy more time for a young player like Barry Church before inserting him into the starting lineup. Pool is quite capable of bridging that gap.
This is the kind of name that makes sense for the Cowboys at a position where they have a serious need but aren't likely to fill it with a pursuit of the biggest, flashiest names. I wouldn't rule out them taking someone like Barron in the first round of the draft, especially if they like whatever they've done at cornerback in free agency. But there are enough Pool-type veteran safeties on the market that the Cowboys should be able to find someone to give them what they need at the position.