Jeff Heath was one of the worst safeties in the NFL last season. If Eric Berry is healthy, he can prove to be a massive upgrade for the Cowboys.
Eric Berry’s distinguished career in Kansas City is over because of all the injury issues he faced in 2018. The Cowboys clearly believe there’s a chance he can enjoy good health next season. That’s precisely why Jerry Jones and company are contemplating how he can boost the Dallas secondary.
Berry is scheduled to visit the Cowboys on Tuesday. Dallas noticeably chose to remain absent in the race to sign high-priced safeties like Earl Thomas earlier in free agency. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a pronounced need at the position.
Jeff Heath was the team’s starter at strong safety last season, and he was one of the worst starters in football. Pro Football Focus rated him as the no. 81 safety in the NFL last season. That’s not good considering the league only has 32 teams.
Clearly, the Cowboys cannot afford to go into the 2019 season with Heath as their starter. Berry might be a health risk, but that’s the only reason he’s going to remain in the Cowboys’ price range. If Berry had a clean bill of health he never would have been permitted to leave Kansas City. He’s an imperfect free agency target due to his injury history, but he’s still someone the Cowboys need to sign.
The upside to Berry is simply too high to ignore. At his best, he’s one of the most complete safeties in football. He can be a big hitter that intimidates receivers running down the field, but his primary strength is his ability to cover a ton of ground in the back-end. Berry is a safety who can help cover up mistakes for his fellow defensive backs when he’s close to 100%.
That’s a quality no one in the Dallas secondary had last year. That’s why the Cowboys shouldn’t let Berry leave town without signing him to a free agency contract. Expect Jones and the rest of the Cowboys’ brain trust to push Berry really hard for a commitment on Tuesday.