May 1, 2010
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The draft has come and gone, leaving Dallas with one major need unfulfilled. The free safety position still lacks a definite solution.
Dallas drafted two corners in the draft, leaving the team with a three big possibilities for the teams defensive future.
1. Darren Sharper
This one probably won't happen. Sharper is still a free agent and he proved last season that he can still play with the best of them. He would be a great temporary fit for the Cowboys this season.
Management however, says that they are not pursuing Sharper at this time. What that means is that the Cowboys have a plan in place a the moment, but depending on how OTA's go Sharper could suddenly be a major possibility.
2. Orlando Scandrick
This one floated around for a while last summer and has resurfaced recently. The reason, it makes a lot of sense.
Scandrick's biggest flaw in the secondary is in man coverage. He plays well in the zone and is good at coming up and making the tackle in the run game. Move him to safety and he has a lot less man to worry about and can focus more on doing what he does best.
During his career at Boise State he was consistently one of the team's top tacklers. This could work out very well if the team pulls the trigger on the position switch. The fact that the team drafted two corners could put some fire behind the rumor.
3. Pat Watkins, Alan Ball and Michael Hamlin
Dallas could always choose to go with what one of the safeties already on their roster.
Pat Watkins is 6' 5" and athletic. In 2006 he started 9 games with 36 tackles and three interceptions. In 2007 he repeated his 36 tackles with one interception but did not start. In the past two seasons, however, he has only managed 41 total tackles and has no interceptions or pass deflections (though he did start a game in 2009).
Alan Ball is maybe the most like candidate to take over full time from the current roster of safeties. Formerly a corner, Ball is the only safety on the roster to have played in every game last season and had three starts. He deflected three passes and tallied up 26 tackles.
Michael Hamlin spent most last season injured and only managed one tackle in six games as a rookie. He finished his career at Clemson with 12 takeaways and 216 tackles. He was drafted in the fifth round by Dallas in 2009 and from what I understand, the team expects him to contribute in the coming season.
Dallas has a big decision to make with the rest of their off-season, who will play opposite Gerald Sensabaugh in the defensive secondary. The right decision could mean the difference between a good season and a great season.
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