The Dallas Cowboys signed 10-year veteran Will Allen in the off-season to give them some insurance at free safety in case young players Matt Johnson and J.J. Wilcox didn’t develop.
Allen won the starting job in training camp because Johnson was injured again and Wilcox missed time because of the death of his mother.
But two weeks into the season, Allen was benched in favor of the more athletic Wilcox and now he has been cut. The Cowboys announced the move Tuesday.
Once Allen was removed from the starting lineup, the Cowboys needed him to be a factor on special teams. He wasn’t and was unlikely to be at this point in his career.
He wasn’t the reason the defense has given up more than 400 yards passing in three of their first four games.
He also wasn’t the solution to their problems despite his familiarity with Monte Kiffin’s defense going back to their days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Allen recorded 17 tackles, two pass breakups and one interception in his five games with Dallas.
He signed a one-year, $905,000 contract with Dallas as an unrestricted free agent from Pittsburgh on March 27. He got a $65,000 signing bonus and $555,000 of his base salary was guaranteed.
Allen was drafted in the fourth round (111th overall) in 2004 by Tampa Bay out of Ohio State.
Beasley thanks Welker
There was a time when Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley resisted comparisons to Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker because he didn’t want to be pigeon-holed as simply a slot receiver.
The comparisons were inevitable because of their similar height, build and quickness. Beasley has given up the fight and showed his appreciation for Welker after Sunday’s game against the Broncos by thanking him for opening the door for guys like him.
“That was pretty sweet,” Beasley told reporters of his meeting with Welker. “He was a guy I always watched growing up when I realized I was going to play receiver. It was pretty cool meeting him. I thanked him for opening the door for guys like me.”
Beasley did the comparison well in Sunday’s 51-48 loss, catching four passes for 47 yards and the first touchdown of his career, while looking a lot like Welker.
New York slap
The Cowboys’ defense has been an abomination through five games. It has people questioning the players, the scheme and the decision by owner Jerry Jones to fire Rob Ryan in the off-season and bring in 73-year-old Monte Kiffin to run the defense.
The Cowboys have given up more than 500 yards in back-to-back games, allowed three 400-yard passers in five games and are on pace to obliterate the team record for yards allowed in a season.
Dallas ranks 31st in pass yards, 28th in overall defense and 22nd in points after Sunday’s 51-48 loss to the Broncos.
It prompted Jets coach Rex Ryan to take a shot on the radio in New York, “Maybe they should’ve kept my brother, that wouldn’t have happened to them.”
Linebacker Sean Lee said the Cowboys’ problems have nothing to do with the coaches. He said they have enough talented players to get the job done but they have to play better and play fundamentally sound.
“I have an unbelievable amount of faith in the teammates and coaches,” Lee said. “We are going to find a way to get it better. We have all the players we need. It’s a matter of us executing better and getting better individually.
“It starts with a guy like me. I didn’t play well enough. I didn’t make enough plays. We know a performance like that is unacceptable if we want to be a winning football team. I have an unbelievable amount of belief in the scheme and the coaches. It’s us as players who are making the mistakes on the field.”
Hatcher slowed by double teams
After recording a sack in each of the first three games, Jason Hatcher has failed to reach the quarterback in the last two.
He figures teams have figured out he is one of the Cowboys’ best pass rushers.
“Yeah, it’s getting kind of frustrating,” he said Monday at Valley Ranch. “It’s tough when guys kind of find out who you are, what you can do. You get more double teams. But I got to find a way to put myself in a better situation so I can create one-on-ones and go out there and win them and get to the quarterback.”
Hatcher gave Peyton Manning credit for not holding the ball long, like Philip Rivers the week before.
But he said it doesn’t let the Cowboys’ defense off the hook for not getting sacks. They got to Rivers only once in San Diego.
“You know, teams did a good job of scheming us, double-teaming us, chipping us, stuff like that. But it’s no excuse,” Hatcher said. “I’m not making excuses at all. We got to go out there and get it done. We got to go out there and pressure the quarterback. I got to find a way to split the double team when they do it. I got to go out and affect the quarterback.
“That’s what they pay us to do. That’s what I got to do.”