Connected to safeties for well over a year now, the Cowboys are set to again go with their Xavier Woods–Jeff Heath tandem. The team will release George Iloka, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic (on Twitter).
The Cowboys signed Iloka earlier this offseason to compete with Heath, but the incumbent won the position battle. This will mark another late-summer exit for the former Bengals starter. Cincinnati cut Iloka in late August of last year, and the longtime first-stringer landed with Mike Zimmer in Minnesota.
Both the Vikings and Cowboys added Iloka on league-minimum deals. The Cowboys guaranteed the 29-year-old defender $210K. Iloka has started 79 games since being a 2012 Bengals fifth-rounder. Only three came last season with the Vikings. Iloka played 117 defensive snaps in 2018.
Dallas resisted the urge to trade for Earl Thomas in 2018 and to sign the Texas native this year, going with Iloka for depth purposes. This will be Heath’s third season as a full-time starter and Woods’ seconds. The Cowboys still have sixth-round safeties Kavon Frazier and Donovan Wilson, a rookie, on its roster going into Saturday’s cutdown day.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.