The Dallas Cowboys’ offseason hasn’t gone off to a good start, but signing a big name like former Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry will give the team a much-needed boost before committing to upgrades in other key positions in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Berry hasn’t seen a ton of action on the field over the past couple of seasons, but there’s still reason to believe that the five-time Pro Bowl selection is a nice fit for America’s Favorite Team.
Here are three reasons why the Cowboys should continue to pursue the signing of the well-respected NFL veteran.
3. Berry’s Recovery from Injury
In Week 1 of the 2017 regular season, Berry suffered a ruptured Achilles that would put him on the sideline for the remainder of the year.
Things only got worse for Berry. Before the start of the 2018 season, he was also diagnosed with having Haglund’s deformity; a bone spur that further stressed and caused pain to his already injured Achilles. He didn’t make his return to action until Week 13 of last season.
Berry’s a true fighter in every sense of the word whenever he’s faced with problems regarding his health. He won the NFL’s Comeback Player for the Year Award after battling with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and being declared cancer-free in 2015.
It would take a lot more than just a lengthy ankle injury to keep the three-time first-team All Pro down, that’s for certain. The Cowboys will not only get a rejuvenated Berry if their negotiations pan out, they’ll also get a player who has overcome a multitude a number of career-threatening injuries that could serve as an inspiration for the entire squad.
2. Dallas’ Evident Lack of Depth at Safety
Last season, Dallas’ secondary was hampered by its lack of dependable talent at safety. Berry would likely take over the starting spot occupied by Jeff Heath, who’s ranked as merely the 81st-best safety in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
Heath’s numbers as a pro pales in comparison to Berry’s last full season. In 2016 alone, Berry finished with 77 tackles, four interceptions, one forced fumble, and two defensive touchdowns. Although Heath racked up 85 tackles in 2018, he was seen more as a liability on Dallas’ defense than not, failing to come up with a single turnover to make up for his inconsistencies in pass coverage.
Berry’s on-field awareness would be a significant upgrade for the Cowboys, who finished the previous season with just nine interceptions. They were also just one of seven teams in the league to have less than 10 picks on the year.
1. Remaining High-Profile Safeties in Free Agency are Limited
Thomas’ decision leaves the Cowboys with very few options in free agency outside of Berry. Tre Boston is the one solid candidate remaining. After a stellar season for the Arizona Cardinals, Boston racked up 79 tackles to go with three interceptions in 2018, giving him eight INTs over the past two seasons.
However, the 26-year-old out of North Carolina is just entering his prime and would likely want top-dollar value for his services.
That being said, Dallas would be better off hedging their bets and sign a proven veteran with locker room leadership to boot on a short-team deal for the time being. It also goes without saying that Berry’s at a point in his career where he wants to prove that he still has elite-level ability despite the adversities that his physical self has gone through.
As of this moment, the Cowboys have a little over $25 million in salary cap remaining to make some moves, but they also have quite a costly financial situation heading into the 2020 season. With that in mind, signing Berry to a one-year prove-it deal is the best option available for both parties involved.