The Cowboys have a clear need to upgrade their options at safety, but Eric Berry is leaving Dallas without agreeing to join the team.
Eric Berry has only played for the Chiefs during his NFL career so it makes sense that he’ll take his time before choosing his next team. While that’s a logical position for Berry to take, it’s not great news for the Cowboys.
Dallas got the first shot to secure Berry in free agency, but the fact that he’s already planning other visits has to be concerning for GM Jerry Jones and the rest of the team’s brain trust.
Their hope was that they could convince Berry to cast his lot with the Cowboys before he left town. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
There’s always the possibility that Berry could ultimately choose the Cowboys when all of his visits are over, but his decision to leave Dallas without signing a deal does hurt the team’s chances of signing the talented safety.
At the moment, there’s no indication which teams will receive visits from the former University of Tennessee star in the future.
No matter what happens with Berry, the Cowboys cannot afford to go into the 2019 season with Jeff Heath slotted in as their starting safety. Pro Football Focus rated him the No. 81 safety in the NFL last year. That’s not good enough for a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
It’s very possible the Cowboys will choose to use the draft to find Heath’s replacement if Berry chooses to go elsewhere. A young rookie will certainly take more time to acclimate to the role than the former Chiefs star, but they could also provide Dallas with a safer option in terms of health.
A variety of injuries have plagued Berry in recent years and that’s why the Chiefs were willing to reluctantly let him go.
The only other free agent safety the Cowboys are currently interested in is Clayton Geathers. He doesn’t have the same talent that Berry does, but he was a captain for the Colts last year. It’s possible Dallas’ decision makers trust his health more than Berry’s medicals.
No matter what, Cowboys fans hoping to see Berry lining up for their favorite team next season should put their dreams on hold. The talented free agent intends to take some more time before committing his future to a new franchise.