Jerry Jones Confirms Acquisition of New Cowboys Starter

Jerry Jones

Getty Jerry Jones

Suffice to say, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is happy about the team’s recent signing of veteran safety Malik Hooker.

Just ask him.

“I’m excited over this Hooker acquisition. I’m excited over him,” Jones proclaimed Sunday at training camp, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “That’s pretty impressive. Every time he’s been healthy, he starts.”

Hooker agreed to terms with the Cowboys last week following a free-agent workout but had to complete five daily, NFL-mandated rounds of COVID-19 testing before formally putting pen to paper. He did so Tuesday, the team announced, placing offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt (knee) on injured reserve in a corresponding roster move.

“I think it’s clearly an opportunity to add another excellent player,” head coach Mike McCarthy said, via the official Cowboys website. “We had a chance to bring him in and he’s completed his rehab. I think anytime you have a chance to just continue to build the competition on your roster, if it works out for both sides, you definitely have to take advantage of that.”

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Background on Hooker & Projected Fit

Linked to Dallas throughout the offseason, the No. 15 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft spent his first four seasons with the Colts, compiling 124 tackles (81 solo), 11 pass deflections, and seven interceptions across 36 games, including 35 starts.

Hooker’s playmaking ability was never questioned; his ability to stay healthy is. The 25-year-old has yet to register a full 16-game campaign and lasted only two games in 2020 before sustaining a torn Achilles’ tendon, from which he’s fully recovered.

The Ohio State alum was a standout collegiate prospect — a consensus All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2016 after picking off seven passes and scoring three defensive touchdowns. He drew pre-draft comparisons ranging from longtime NFL starter Reggie Nelson to ex-New England Patriots Pro Bowl DB Devin McCourty.

Hooker becomes the fourth safety signed by Dallas this offseason, joining Keanu Neal, a freshly converted linebacker; Jayron Kearse, a backup/special-teamer; and Damontae Kazee, a projected starter opposite Donovan Wilson.

Once he gets up to speed in camp, Hooker should push Kazee for the FS job, though the latter has a sizable leg-up considering his previous Atlanta ties with and current “resource” to Quinn.

“He has been a good resource for me behind the scenes,” Quinn said last week, via WFAA.com. “‘Hey here’s what Q might mean in this.’ It may not be scheme related but in a situation, in a moment, a style of play, an attitude that we want to play with, he can back me in a lot of ways. Scheme being one of them, just a style, an identity of how we want to play that would be another.”

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Hooker Makes Debut [WATCH]

The ink still drying on his deal, Hooker nevertheless took the field Tuesday with his new teammates and congregated with his new coaches. He is wearing jersey No. 28 as seen in the video below.


READ NEXT: ‘Furthest Away’: Cowboys Starter in Serious Danger of Getting Cut?

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL


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