Cowboys Re-sign Safety to Two-Year Contract After Breakout Season: Report

Jayron Kearse

Getty Trevon Diggs of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with Jayron Kearse after intercepting a pass.

The Dallas Cowboys are rewarding a talented member of their secondary after his huge step up in the 2021 season.

While Dallas has already re-signed other defenders like defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and safety Malik Hooker, there were still scenarios to address, including the other safety spot alongside Hooker.

Now, Cowboys fans have their answer. As first reported by Dallas Morning News insider Michael Gehlken, Dallas is bringing back safety Jayron Kearse.

Gehlken followed up with more info on what the Cowboys are paying the former seventh-round pick on his new two-year deal.

“It is two-year, $10M contract for Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse, source said,” Gehlken Tweeted. “Deal is worth a maximum of $11M. Nice pay day for the 2016 seventh-round pick, who fills a number of roles on Dallas defense.”

After the news went public, Kearse shared his thoughts on Twitter. The safety made it clear he’s happy to get the deal, but also that he’s not going to rest on his laurels.

“Much gratitude and glory to God. But this far from over!” Kearse shared.

After four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and another as a Detroit Lion, Kearse arrived in Dallas on a one-year deal in 2021. Two interceptions and 101 total tackles later in Dallas, the former Clemson Tiger is sticking around through 2023.

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Career Breakdown for Kearse

Kearse didn’t see much playing time in 2016 or 2017, his first two years in Minnesota. The safety was primarily being used as a special teams tool. However, his final two years as a Viking showed he was heading in a positive direction.

Besides registering his first passes defended and and bringing down his first interception, Pro Football Reference shows that he started four games and played 22.5% of possible defensive snaps over 2018 and 2019, compared to just 5.5% of snaps over 2016 and 2017.

Detroit represented the next step up, as he started seven games in 2020, setting a personal record with 41 solo tackles and also adding the first forced fumble of his NFL career.

Cowboys fans know how his first season in Dallas went. Kearse grabbed two picks, registered 10 passes defended and earned 67 solo tackles, all personal records. In his first real opportunity to be a starter over the course of the season, Kearse took advantage and it’s paying off.


Hooker Joining Kearse in the Secondary

As mentioned above, the Cowboys officially announced Hooker is also coming back to Dallas after coming in as a “third” safety to backup Kearse and Donovan Wilson. He did technically start three games, but he only played 44% of the defense’s possible snaps.

Like Kearse, Hooker signed a two-year deal and still has tremendous upside in terms of value as a 25-year-old. This is due to his unfortunate injury history, which has featured an Achilles tear, an MCL and ACL tear, and hernia and labrum issues.

The injury history is a concern, but at $3.5 million a year for just two years, it’s a shrewd deal for a player who was a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft. By bringing back Hooker and Kearse, the Cowboys maintain consistency and set themselves up to reap the benefits of two players who appear to be on the upswing.

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