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Dallas Cowboys sign George Iloka: Grade, reaction and more

The Dallas Cowboys finally got some good news on the defensive side of the ball this offseason with the addition of safety George Iloka.

It’s not been a good few months for the reigning NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys, especially when it comes to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s unit. Star pass-rusher Demarcus Lawrence was given the franchise tag for the second straight year and it will be interesting to see what happens over time.

Meanwhile, defensive end Randy Gregory is currently under suspension once again, as is defensive tackle David Irving — the latter an unsigned unrestricted free agent. And outside linebacker Damien Wilson, who made seven starts in 2018, signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. The club is hoping the additions of Christian Covington (Houston Texans) and Kerry Hyder (Detroit Lions) will help.

But Saturday, the Cowboys added a solid piece to their secondary as veteran safety George Iloka has agreed to join the team.

Contract Details

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported the deal on Saturday. Via Grant Gordon of NFL.com, the Cowboys announced that Iloka signed a one-year deal.

National Reaction

For a number of seasons, the 2012 fifth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals was regarded as one of the more underrated players at his position. And it was certainly a bit of surprise last offseason when the team opted to make a financial decision and release the heady defender after six years in the Queen City. He would head to Minnesota and be reunited with Mike Zimmer, who was his defensive coordinator with the Bengals his first two years in the league.

As a reserve with the Vikings this past season, Iloka played in all 16 games but made just three starts. He finished with a mere 11 tackles on defense, but did add five stops and a forced fumbles on special teams. You can expect him to be a lot more active in ’19 and challenge Jeff Heath for a regular job.

The seven-year pro has played in 99 regular-season contests and made a combined 79 starts at both strong and free safety. He makes for a heady upgrade for a defensive unit in the midst of a lot of changes.

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