On first blush, it seems that things are going slow for Cowboys safety George Iloka, a veteran free-agent signee charged with the task of unseating Jeff Heath at strong safety.
Heath was second in the league with 22 broken tackles in 2018, according to Pro Football Outsiders. And he had 19 missed tackles, including 13 in the run game – a league-high for safeties, according to Pro Football Focus.
His tackling efficiency was second-worst in the league among those who played at least 535 defensive snaps, 63rd out of 64 eligible players, per PFF.
And this doesn’t even include the missed assignment by Heath in the NFC Divisional playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
So the Cowboys did a lot of homework in the off-season looking to upgrade the position.
They brought in Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry for visits in free agency before signing Iloka to a modest one-year deal for $930,000.
The Cowboys considered taking a safety in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft but opted for defensive tackle Trysten Hill. They eventually took Texas A&M’s Donovan Wilson in the sixth round.