Cowboys Rumors: Ex-Vikings, Bengals S George Iloka Agrees to 1-Year Contract

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 14: George Iloka #23 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after making a tackle in the third quarter of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Free-agent safety George Iloka is signing with the Dallas Cowboys, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

Todd Archer of ESPN.com reported that the deal is for one year.

This marks Iloka's third organization in three seasons. A fifth-round pick in 2012, he spent the first six years of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals before spending the 2018 campaign with the Minnesota Vikings.

During his time in Cincinnati, Iloka became a dependable playmaker in the secondary. He piled up 346 tackles, nine interceptions, 32 pass breakups and two forced fumbles with the Bengals.

While becoming a starter in year two, he played an important role in helping the team reach the playoffs in each of his first four seasons.

However, he became a cap casualty last year, as he was released during the preseason. He managed to quickly find a new home, though, reuniting with Mike Zimmer, who was the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati during Iloka's first two seasons, in Minnesota.

The Vikings wound up not using Iloka much in 2018. According to Next Gen Stats (h/t NFL.com's Kevin Patra), the veteran defensive back only logged 110 defensive snaps last year.

He recorded just 16 tackles and one forced fumble for Minnesota.

Iloka has proved to be a quality defender throughout his tenure in Cincinnati. As Pro Football Focus' Eric Eager noted in August 2018, Iloka managed more interceptions (nine) than touchdowns surrendered as a Bengal.

Per Eager, opposing passers had just a 68.4 rating when throwing at the safety in 2017.

Iloka's time in Minnesota did not go as he had hoped, although joining the club so close to the season put him in a tough spot. But still just 28 years old (29 on March 31), he has plenty of football left in him.

Iloka was one of several established safeties Dallas pursued this offseason. According to The Athletic's Calvin Watkins and Yahoo Sports' Terez A. Paylor, it previously looked at former Seattle Seahawk Earl Thomas and former Kansas City Chief Eric Berry, but neither star signed with the team.

Iloka isn't a bad consolation prize.

A big part of the veteran's value comes from his ability to stay on the field. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2013, he has appeared in all 16 regular-season games in five of the last six seasons. That only adds to what he brings to the table with his skill set.

Related

    Bears' Eddie Jackson: 'We Plan on Taking This Whole Thing'

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Bears' Eddie Jackson: 'We Plan on Taking This Whole Thing'

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Dez Bryant: Cole Beasley Is Right About the Cowboys’ Offense

    Dallas Cowboys logo
    Dallas Cowboys

    Dez Bryant: Cole Beasley Is Right About the Cowboys’ Offense

    Michael David Smith
    via ProFootballTalk

    After OTAs, How Does the QB Situation Look for the Cowboys?

    Dallas Cowboys logo
    Dallas Cowboys

    After OTAs, How Does the QB Situation Look for the Cowboys?

    Blogging The Boys
    via Blogging The Boys

    Sean Lee a Starter and Part-Time Player All in One

    Dallas Cowboys logo
    Dallas Cowboys

    Sean Lee a Starter and Part-Time Player All in One

    Blogging The Boys
    via Blogging The Boys