According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, the Dallas Cowboys have signed safety Robert Blanton, who played for the Buffalo Bills last year. As noted below, Caplan says he got the news from Jason Bernstein, who is Blanton’s agent.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) April 20, 2017
The team certainly has a need at safety, as Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox both left in free agency. Blanton will have a chance to fight to work his way into the lineup. Even if he’s not the difference-maker they need, he at least gives the team some depth at the position that they were otherwise lacking.
Blanton is 27 years old. He started out with the Vikings, who drafted him back in 2012. He was a fifth-round selection. He played through his rookie deal, the traditional four-year contract, and then went to the Bills for the 2016 season. That was just a one-year deal and they didn’t bring him back. According to SportsDay’s Jon Machota:
“Robert Blanton signed a one-year deal with the [Cowboys], according to a source.”
The team has been looking extensively at defensive backs in their pre-draft visits. It’s clear that they want to take one, though when they’ll do so remains to be seen. It’s also worth noting that they’ve looked at both safeties and cornerbacks, so they have multiple needs to fill in the secondary alone.
This signing by no means changes those plans. The Cowboys likely don’t consider a guy who is turning in a journeyman depth player to be the answer. They just want guys with experience who can give them depth, especially if they wind up going after rookies that they hope turn into starters.