Dallas Cowboys finished their season 9-7 which might look good from outside, but America’s Team and its fans aren’t satisfied. After stellar 2016 campaign everybody expected more of the same, but the squad failed to deliver.
They had issues on both sides of the ball, and some changes will be necessary for the next season. While at the start of 2017 they revamped their secondary we don’t believe that such changes will happen on any part of the roster this off-season. But, some areas of the team will need fresh faces ready to deliver. While everyone is talking about Cowboys mediocre passing game and need for a deep threat wide receiver one position gets overlooked.
Dallas secondary is now young, but after one year they will have more experience, and some of the players showed signs of improvement. In 2018, Chidobe Awuzie, Xavier Woods, and Jordan Lewis will have more snaps and will be the core of Cowboys secondary. The problem for this team in 2017 was and will be in 2018 if they don’t address its safety.
Their starting safeties through 2017 were Byron Jones and Jeff Heath. The later one is an undrafted free agent from 2013. He wasn’t a big part of the Cowboys defense in past years, but he found his place on special teams. After few years as a backup, he was put into the starting lineup. Heath showed glimpses of what he can be, but they were few and far apart. Yes, he had that last second tackle on Derek Carr and had taken over kicking duties from Dan Bailey when Cowboys kicker got injured, but America’s Team needs more consistency.
Jones, on the other hand, is a former first-round selection and was considered one of the most talented players on Cowboys roster. But, he missed a few steps in his development and still isn’t a player that Dallas wants and need him to be.
The solution might be New Orleans safety Kenny Vaccaro. The player will become a free agent in 2018. After years of inconsistent play since he entered the league, he’s finally playing like everyone is expecting. During 2017 regular season he’s had three interceptions, and seven passes defended. He was benched at the beginning of the year, but he managed to turn around his season. Vaccaro is a player that has a Pro Bowl talent, but… yes there is always a but!
During the last season, he was suspended for four games due to a violation of league’s illegal substance abuse policy. He was found positive for Adderall. Thanks to this he only played eleven games but recorded 68 tackles, five pass defends, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
With all of this stated, Kenny Vaccaro might be what Cowboys need. And what’s best he could come in cheap, because of his past. Dallas outfit could even sign him on one year ‘prove it’ contract. If not, he could be hired on a multi-year deal which could be a risk but one worth taking.
Saints are most likely going to release him after picking up his 5th-year option last year because they already have Vonn Bell, who is a suitable replacement. Also, they will need all of the money in the salary cap that they can obtain for re-signing of Drew Brees.
Interestingly, Cowboys wanted to trade for him at the beginning of the year, and Saints were shopping Vaccaro. It was a deal in which Dallas wished to include Orlando Scandrick. It didn’t pan out then, but this summer it might happen.