Cowboys Steal Former Pro Bowl Starting Safety in Free Agency: Report

Getty Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Reunited, and it feels so good.

Desperate for reinforcements in a depleted secondary, the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday signed former Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, his agency, SportsTrust Advisors, announced on Twitter.

The deal, which brings together again Clinton-Dix and head coach Mike McCarthy, was confirmed by the team. According to Clarence Hill of the Dallas Morning News, it’s a one-year, $4 million agreement, with $2.5 million guaranteed.

Chosen by the Green Bay with the No. 21 overall pick of the 2014 NFL draft, Clinton-Dix is a rangy defender capable of crowding the box and roving centerfield. He made 351 combined tackles (275 solo), 25 pass breakups, 14 interceptions, and eight quarterback hits across 71 games (65 starts) in Green Bay.

Clinton-Dix’s best season came in 2016 when he collected 80 tackles, seven pass deflections, and five INTs, earning Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors.

He was traded to the Washington Redskins during the 2018 campaign, and then signed a one-year, $5.5 million free-agent contract with the Chicago Bears the following offseason. He started all 16 games for Chicago in 2019, delivering 78 tackles and two picks.

Clinton-Dix played collegiately at Alabama, where he was a two-time national champion and consensus All-American.

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Ha Ha’s Role in Dallas

He likely steps in as an immediate starter opposite Xavier Woods for new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and assistant secondary coach Al Harris, a former Packers cornerback. Clinton-Dix replaces Jeff Heath, who defected to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.

With his propensity for creating turnovers, he should aid a unit that forced just seven interceptions last season, two of which went to Woods. He also will enhance a pass defense that finished 10th in the NFL in 2019, allowing 223.5 yards per game.

“Nice size and body length. Quick to read and react,” Clinton-Dix’s scouting profile reads. “Has speed and flexibility to match up with slot receivers or tight ends. Ranges off the hash. Good hands to intercept. Effective run supporter — drops downhill with conviction and does not shy from contact. Takes direct angles to the ball. Runs the alley and wipes out ball carriers. Secure tackler. Can break down and tackle in space. Has special-teams experience. Well-coached in a pro-style defense.”

Cowboys Free Agency Tracker

As the first week of free agency winds down, the Cowboys are growing increasingly active. They’ve now added three out-of-house players in defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, cornerback Maurice Canady, and Clinton-Dix.

Over the past 72 hours, the Cowboys, too, have retained several in-house free agents: linebackers Joe Thomas, Justin March, and Sean Lee, wide receiver Amari Cooper, tight end Blake Jarwin, offensive lineman Joe Looney, cornerback Anthony Brown, long snapper L. P. Ladouceur and kicker Kai Forbath. They also franchise-tagged quarterback Dak Prescott.

Dallas has lost its fair share of talent, as well. Defected are Heath, CB Byron Jones (Dolphins), WR Randall Cobb (Texans), defensive end Robert Quinn (Bears), TE Jason Witten (Raiders), defensive lineman Maliek Collins (Raiders), offensive tackle Cam Fleming (Giants), and interior offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo (Bengals).

READ NEXT: Cowboys Predicted to Sign 3x Pro Bowl Pass-Rusher

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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