The Dallas Cowboys have been actively trying to improve their safeties through free agency. They have already signed safeties Keanu Neal, Jayron Kearse, and Damontae Kazee this offseason. However, former Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker has been linked to Dallas.
Just last week, Hooker visited the Cowboys, per SI.com. Nonetheless, the Cowboys decided to not offer the former first-round pick a contract and instead signed former Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee.
This move might have been surprising to some as Hooker only had positive things to say about his visit to Dallas. After his meeting, the former Ohio State star claimed that the “visit went great,” according to dallascowboys.com.
So, this leaves the question if there is still room for the former Colts’ safety. With the loss of Xavier Woods, who signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings, this could open up room for Hooker to join the team.
Although Dallas has already signed three safeties this offseason, they likely aren’t done adding to their secondary. Last season, it appeared that this secondary was one of the worst in the NFL. They ranked in the bottom half of the league in yards allowed per game (386.4), opponent’s passing touchdowns a game (2.1), and opponent’s yards per completion (11.1).
As a result, the Cowboys likely need more help in the secondary. The former Minnesota Vikings and Detriot Lions safety Jayron Kearse is known for his special teams play and will likely not play much in the secondary. On the other side, recently acquired safety Keanu Neal is moving to weak-side linebacker for the Cowboys, according to nfl.com.
This leaves only Donovan Wilson and Damontae Kazee in the secondary. Adding Hooker could give Dallas more room to improve their secondary.
Why haven’t the Dallas Cowboys signed Hooker?
It’s hard to say why the Cowboys haven’t signed the former first-round pick and why they chose to sign Kazee and Kearse instead. This could be due to Hooker’s previous injury history.
In his short four-year career, Hooker has never played a full 16 game season and has missed 28 total games already. Although Hooker can be considered one of the top safety-free agents still available, his injury history might cause teams some concern. He is also coming off a season-ending torn Achilles injury.
However, if everything looks good with Hooker’s recovery, the Dallas Cowboys should make an offer to him. He can give Dallas more depth at the position and has the potential to be Dallas’ best safety this season. He has seven career interceptions to go along with 124 tackles.
Furthermore, with Dallas likely trying to improve their secondary with new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, the Cowboys could use all the help that they can get. Because very few teams are interested in the four-year veteran, they could sign him to a much cheaper deal.
Having a secondary consisting of Wilson, Kazee and Hooker could immediately improve a defense that ranked 28th last season, according to lineups.com. When Hooker is healthy, his first-round potential can be showcased. However, injuries have been a major downfall of his career and could be the reason why Dallas hasn’t signed Hooker.