Cowboys Pegged as ‘Ideal Landing Spot’ for 3x All-Pro Safety

Getty Free agent safety Eric Berry

The Eric Berry dream refuses to die.

For the second time this offseason, the Dallas Cowboys have been linked to the five-time Pro Bowl and three-time first-team All-Pro safety, who remains a free agent.

The latest dot-connecting comes courtesy of NFLAnalysis.net, which grouped Dallas among four ideal landing spots for Berry, along with the Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, and Indianapolis Colts.

Everyone knew that the Dallas Cowboys were going to be on this list. Over the past couple of years, Jerry Jones and company have been trying to make an impact addition at the safety position. Eric Berry would be exactly that kind of addition if he is truly back to 100 percent health.

Last season, the Cowboys made an aggressive move to try to acquire New York Jets’ superstar safety Jamal Adams. They have also had interest in Berry in the past.

Berry to Dallas would be a move that wouldn’t shock anyone. Dallas has a football team built to compete and their defense got a lot stronger this offseason. Adding Berry could be the missing piece that takes them to an elite level defense and into legitimate Super Bowl contention.

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Background on Berry

Formerly considered one of, if not the best safety in the league, Berry has played just three games since 2016, hampered by a devastating Achilles’ tendon rupture which devolved into a heel issue known as Haglund’s deformity; NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo has described it as “a bone spur that basically digs into the Achilles.”

Berry — who was diagnosed with, and beat, Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014-15 — made two appearances for the Chiefs in 2018, notching 11 tackles. Inactive for Kansas City’s Divisional Round playoff win over the Colts that year, he started their AFC Championship loss to the Patriots. He was released on March 13, 2019.

Berry visited The Star shortly after his release but left without putting pen to paper. He also drew team-reported interest from the Browns before opting to sit out the entire regular season, with an eye on returning in 2020.

The No. 5 overall pick of the 2010 draft and a career-long Chief, Berry was an impact defender in his prime, totaling 445 tackles, 50 pass deflections, 14 interceptions, 5.5 sacks, and five defensive touchdowns across 89 games. Now, entering his age-31 campaign, it’s unclear how much he has left, both physically and psychologically.


Cowboys Unlikely to Pull the Trigger

With COVID-19 shuttering team facilities (until recently) and thus preventing Berry from taking a physical, Dallas has no way of knowing which player they’d be getting — the game-changer or a husk of his former self. There’s a reason he’s still languishing on the open market.

It’s worth noting, too, that the last time they were urged to bring Berry aboard, the Cowboys hadn’t yet addressed the position. They’ve done so through free agency and the NFL draft, signing ex-Packers star Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who replaces Jeff Heath, and using a fourth-round pick on CB/S hybrid Reggie Robinson.

The club also boasts dependable veteran backup Darian Thompson and hyped sophomore Donovan Wilson to rotate in behind Clinton-Dix and incumbent starter Xavier Woods.


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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL