Dallas Cowboys

With FS Xavier Woods status for opener in doubt, Cowboys on hunt for safety help

Dallas Cowboys safety Xavier Woods (25) comes up the the fumble recovery on the punt return during the first quarter.
Dallas Cowboys safety Xavier Woods (25) comes up the the fumble recovery on the punt return during the first quarter. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

While a trade for Seattle Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas remains the proverbial elephant in the room, the Dallas Cowboys are now looking at all options for help at safety following an injury to Xavier Woods in the second quarter of Saturday’s 21-13 preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Woods was diagnosed with a strained hamstring and, following a magnetic imaging exam on Sunday, his availability for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Carolina Panthers is in doubt.

Woods could be sidelined anywhere from two to four weeks, per a source.

It’s a setback for a Cowboys team that was already thin at the position behind Woods and strong safeties Jeff Heath and Kavon Frazier.

Per a source, the Cowboys will consider former Cincinnati Bengals safety George Iloka. He was surprisingly released on Sunday, one day after returning from the preseason game against the Cowboys

Iloka is considered a strong safety by the Cowboys. But the team is now looking at all options.

Does that also include revisiting a possible trade with Seattle for Thomas?

Time will tell.

The Cowboys discussed a deal for Thomas during free agency and the draft but Seattle’s asking price was too high.

Thomas, a former star at the University of Texas, is holding out from Seattle’s training camp in hopes of getting a new contract. He has expressed in joining the Cowboys if he couldn’t get an extension with the Seahawks.

Thomas, a perennial Pro Bowler, is the best free safety in the NFL and would be a natural fit in Dallas under secondary coach Kris Richard, the former Seattle defensive coordinator.

These former Dallas Cowboys players were recognized for their role on "America's Team" by getting a place on the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. :@clarencehilljr
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