Dallas Cowboys Offseason: The Great Safety Debate

Derek MajorCorrespondent IMarch 10, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17:  Parcy Harvin #12 of the Minnesota Vikings tries to get past Gerald Sensabaugh #43 of the Dallas Cowboys during the game at Mall of America Field on October 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Cowboys 24-21.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have kept quiet while waiting for the labor agreement to be resolved. Last year, the Cowboys did the same thing while saying that their safety issues weren't issues. Jerry Jones was confident that Alan Ball and Gerald Sensabaugh would be just fine anchoring the Cowboys secondary.

When the season started it was a different story. Both Sensabaugh and Ball were inconsistent and Ball didn't seem comfortable at his position at all. Backups Brian McCann and Barry Church had their moments, but they did nothing to calm the nerves of the Cowboys faithful when it comes to the secondary.

The Cowboys are expected to go on the attack in free agency if this labor dispute is wrapped up within the next few weeks, but the question is who will the Cowboys go after. Gerald Sensabaugh is already looking at other teams, although no one expects anything to happen right now and all signs point to Alan Ball not starting next season and maybe even moving back to cornerback, where he is better suited. 

You can almost guarantee the Cowboys will draft a safety they think can compete for playing time now, or a project player.

The free agent safeties that are out there don't jump off the page, but there are some guys that can definitely help the Cowboys.

Eric Weddle is one of those players; a five-year veteran, Weddle has spent his entire career with the Chargers, and while he's not much of all ball hawk (just six career interceptions), he's has at least 80 tackles in each of the last three seasons, showing that he can get to the ball-carrier and finish plays.

Another option is Bernard Pollard, who didn't receive a contract tender from the Houston Texans. Pollard managed 11 tackles and four interceptions while playing with the leagues worst defensive backfield. He's also cracked 90 tackles in each of the last four seasons.

A couple of inexpensive options could be Sean Considine and Ravens Safeties Dawan Landry or Tom Zbikowski, although right now Zbikowski is concerned about getting back into his old sport.

Whatever the Cowboys do, they need to make sure it's something long term and not just a stop gap, they have youth in a lot of positions, and while that's nice what they need is consistency to go along with that youth.