Taking Woods’ place, potentially, is Damontae Kazee, who signed a one-year deal worth a reported $1.1 million. Kazee is recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon suffered in Week 4 with Atlanta last season, but when healthy, he was a productive player for former Falcons head coach/new Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
The Cowboys have also signed veteran safety Jayron Kearse to a similar one-year contract and agreed to terms with Keanu Neal, another former Falcons safety who made the 2017 Pro Bowl. Neal is expected to start off at linebacker but could pitch in at safety in Quinn’s system.
The Cowboys got outstanding production from second-year safety Donovan Wilson once he joined the starting lineup in Week 5. Wilson finished the season with the best overall defensive grade among all Cowboys defensive backs (72.0), according to Pro Football Focus. He had PFF’s third-best defensive grade among players in the regular rotation, behind only DeMarcus Lawrence (88.6) and Randy Gregory (80.5). Despite only 10 starts, Wilson ranked fourth on defense in tackles (68) and pass breakups (4), tied for third in sacks (3.5), tied for second in interceptions (2) and forced fumbles (3) and tied for first in fumble recoveries (2).