The Dallas Cowboys should avoid signing a two-time Pro Bowls safety, according to one analyst.
“After a trying 2020 campaign, the Dallas Cowboys raised their game on the defensive side of the ball,” says Kay. “The improvement helped them get back into the playoffs, but there is still work to do for this to be a great defensive unit.
One spot that Dallas will want to shore up in free agency is the secondary. The safety position was particularly weak in 2021. With the oft-injured Donovan Wilson the only safety under contract for 2022, the Cowboys will need to acquire several players this spring.
While a steady option like Quandre Diggs might be appealing, Dallas should try to splurge for a game-changing star the position.”
Diggs Coming off of Major Injury in Season Finale
Diggs will be 29 years old at the start of next season. Furthermore, the two-time Pro Bowler is coming off of a major injury suffered — dislocated ankle and broken right fibula — which will require a four-to-five month recovery from surgery.
Kay attributes Diggs’ age and his recovery from a major injury for reasons why the Cowboys should avoid the Seahawks safety. He also names a younger safety — the Cincinnati Bengals’ Jessie Bates III — which Dallas should go after instead.
“Diggs has been a ball hawk during his time with the Seattle Seahawks, racking up 13 interceptions in two-plus seasons,” says Kay. “The Cowboys already led the league with 26 interceptions this year, however, and they could use a more impactful center fielder type who is younger and healthier than the 28-year-old Diggs.
Factor in the major leg/ankle injury that Diggs suffered in Seattle’s season finale, and it would be much wiser to go after an up-and-coming safety like Cincinnati’s Jessie Bates III, arguably the top free-agent-to-be at his position this year.”
ALL the latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here!
Diggs’ Projected Value in Free Agency
As Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times notes in his article, Pro Football Focus projects Diggs’ value to be at three years, $24 million with $13.5 million guaranteed. It remains to be seen if Diggs’ injury — a major one as he nears the age of 30 — will greatly impact that projected value.
“Diggs could push for a contract similar to those recently doled out to the San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmie Ward (three years, $28.5 million), former Las Vegas Raiders safety Lamarcus Joyner (four years, $42 million) and former Houston Texans safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (three years, $22.5 million). All three players are under 6-foot and were at least 28 years old at the time of signing.”
The Cowboys made strides on defense after registering one of the worst defensive units in 2020. The 2021 Cowboys ranked seventh in points allowed and seventh in passing touchdowns allowed.
Dallas’ starting safeties, Jayron Kearse and Damontae Kazee, are a strong duo. However, Dallas could use an upgrade at free safety. According to PFF, Kearse’ defensive grade (76.8) ranks 14th among all safeties, while free safety Kazee (60.9) ranks just 56th.
The Cowboys will likely look to improve at free safety. But Diggs might be a name that Dallas should avoid.