Sunday, January 16, 2022

Cowboys warned against signing Pro Bowl free safety

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The Dallas Cowboys should avoid signing a two-time Pro Bowls safety, according to an analyst.

The Cowboys should refrain from signing Seattle Seahawks free safety Quandre Diggs in free agency this offseason, according to Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay.

“After a difficult 2020 season, the Dallas Cowboys have upped their game on the defensive side of the ball,” says Kay. “The improvement has helped them get back into the playoffs, but there is still work to be done for this to be a great defensive unit.

One point Dallas wants to shore up in the free hand is the secondary. The safety position was particularly weak in 2021. With the often-injured Donovan Wilson the only safety under contract for 2022, the Cowboys will need to acquire several players this spring.

While a permanent option like Quandre Diggs might be attractive, Dallas should look to splurge on the position for a breakthrough star.”

Diggs will turn 29 at the start of next season. Additionally, the two-time Pro Bowler is recovering from a serious injury – dislocated ankle and fractured right fibula – which will require one four to five months of recovery from surgery.

Kay attributes Diggs’ age and his recovery from a serious injury to reasons the Cowboys should avoid the Seahawks’ safety. He also names a younger safety – Cincinnati Bengals’ Jessie Bates III – who should pursue Dallas instead.

“Diggs was a ball hawk during his time with the Seattle Seahawks, scoring 13 interceptions in more than two seasons,” says Kay. “However, the Cowboys already led the league with 26 interceptions this year, and they could use a more impactful centerfielder type younger and healthier than 28-year-old Diggs.

Factor in the serious leg/ankle injury Diggs suffered in Seattle’s season finale, and it would be far wiser to go after an up-and-coming safety like Cincinnati’s Jessie Bates III, who is arguably the best free agent-to-be at there is room for him this year.”

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As Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta notes in his article, Pro Football Focus projects Diggs’ value over three years, $24 million, with $13.5 million guaranteed. It remains to be seen whether Diggs’ injury — a serious one as he nears 30 — will heavily impact that projected figure.

“Diggs may be pushing for a similar deal to the one he recently signed to San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmie Ward (three years, $28.5 million), former Las Vegas Raiders safety Lamarcus Joyner (four years, $42 million -dollars) and former Houston Texans safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (three years, $22.5 million). All three players are under 6ft tall and were at least 28 years old at the time of signing.”

The Cowboys made strides on defense after registering one of the worst defensive teams in 2020. The 2021 Cowboys ranked seventh in points allowed and seventh in touchdowns allowed.

Dallas starting safety, Jayron Kearse and Damontae Kazee, are a powerful duo. However, Dallas could use an upgrade with free security. According to PFF, Kearse’s defensive score (76.8) ranks 14th among all safeties, while Kazee (60.9) ranks only 56th as a free safety.

The cowboys will probably try to improve the free security. But Diggs might be a name Dallas should avoid.

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