The talk of Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas being linked to Dallas has dominated the headlines this offseason for some time now. I cannot sit and lie to you and say that I haven’t wanted Thomas because I have. I felt that he would be a perfect addition to the Boys, bringing toughness, leadership, and stability to this young secondary. I honestly can say, I have no clue what is going to happen with that scenario. I do know that the Cowboys drafted Xavier Woods in the 6th round in last year’s draft with the hopes of a dynamic playmaker roaming the secondary for years to come. When you look at the size comparisons between Thomas and Woods, they are very similar as Thomas comes in at 5’10 208 and Woods at 5’11 202; their combine numbers were very comparable as well. Woods appeared in all 16 games, starting 4 he played a total 504 snaps at two different positions, managing 41 total tackles and one interception.
This is where the excitement comes in, when Woods was attending Louisiana Tech, he was a 3 time Academic All American, as well as snagging 14 interceptions in his career good for 3rd in the school’s history. That tells me a few things, first Woods is a smart kid, he is versatile and a playmaker. Pro Football Focus gave him an overall rating of 78.8 and that’s not bad at all considering Woods was drafted in the 6th round while only being a part-time player. With all the talk of starting free safety Byron Jones possibly moving back to corner, along with newly signed defensive passing coordinator Kris Richard from Seattle now in the fold, this is a perfect time for Woods to step up and become the guy in the secondary.
With the recent announcement that veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick will soon be released, the new young guns of Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Woods are now the guys that need to take the next step in year two in order for the Cowboys defense to keep trending up. It seems the Cowboys are content with what they have in the secondary and this could be a vote of confidence to Woods, let’s say Dallas drafts safety Derwin James out of Florida State and now you have a safety combo of James and Woods. That dosen’t excite you? Listen, I am not saying Woods is a Earl Thomas, but let’s at least see what he can bring to the table this season as a starter. I said last season this secondary was going to be the real deal and if Woods were to take the next step in 2018, Cowboys fans I will be grinning from ear to ear.