Those outside the NFL have a higher opinion of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix than those inside the sport, apparently.
The Dallas Cowboys’ acquisition of the former All-Pro safety, who inked a one-year deal worth $4 million on March 20, was grouped among Bleacher Report’s list of “best bang-for-the-buck free-agent signings.”
Via columnist Chris Roling:
While stereotyped as a team that only makes big splashes, the Dallas Cowboys ducked under the global radar and got a steal with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Swapping out the struggling Jeff Heath with Clinton-Dix is a big win regardless, but it sure doesn’t hurt that the Dallas front office did so at one year and $4 million.
Clinton-Dix clearly wants a prove-it deal in a good locale before trying to earn more money on the market next year. And that could certainly happen. He’s only 27 years old and coming off a season in which he graded at a 74.2 at Pro Football Focus, finding some stability in his career after splitting 2018 between the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins.
A first-round pick in 2014, Clinton-Dix settled down with the Chicago Bears last year and allowed only 26 catches on 44 targets while posting 78 tackles, missing just nine over 99 percent of the snaps.
If the Cowboys get this sort of production at such a cost, it will go down as one of the offseason’s biggest steals.
Chosen by the Green Bay Packers 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, where he worked under Mike McCarthy, now the Cowboys’ head coach.
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.
In Dallas, Clinton-Dix 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. He replaces Jeff Heath, who defected to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.
With his propensity for creating turnovers, Clinton-Dix 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.
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